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Old 02-22-2020, 09:30 AM   #1
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Default ****COMPLETED TRIP REPORT **** Daddy Daughter Disney Dash -- January 2018

Wow. Where to begin?

It was a dark and stormy night…


It was the best of times…

….it was the worst of times.

NO! That’s not it either!!!

If you know where that intro comes from…shout out your guesses in the comments. (yes -- it's originally from Tale of Two Cities -- but I'm quoting from a Disney attraction)

Ok. Let’s get this show on the road.

This will be my first official trip report on Mouseowners. I’ve lurked on some others and commented on some others, but I figured I’d go ahead and try my hand at this. Forgive me if the pictures aren't great. They were all shot on an iPhone.

So here it goes!

Cast of Characters:

Me – your narrator – AKA “mustinjourney.” I’m a father of two young daughters. Current ages are 5 and 3 (ages 4 and 2 at time of this trip). My wife and I, now in our mid to late 30s, have been married for 14+ years.

Here's a pic of me in Pandora.

And here's a pic of my wife at DLP.

While she likes Disney World…she does not have the bug like I do. Luckily, she’s a good sport and puts up with my mini-obsession…

…ok ok.

Full-fledged obsession.

Here's another picture that I find hilarious just to make sure you guys stick around a little longer...

The two young ones in the front row are my DDs. The youngest one makes that shocked face on any and every drop known to man. You'd think she was riding expedition everest.

As for me, I do not scare nearly as easily. In fact, some rides I find quite boring. So much so that I have actually fallen asleep. See for yourself.

Hey -- when you've got two young kids, you gotta get a nap anywhere you can.

Back to the bio:

A little about me:

My favorite rides are RNRC, ToT, FOP, people mover, and EE (not in that order).

Favorite Disney movie is probably Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Moana is quickly rising the ranks as well.

DD(4) – my partner in crime for this trip. Codename “Kat.” She loves going to the parks, playing in the pools, and watching the Disney channel and/or Disney movies back at the room. Naps do not happen while at The World. At the House of Mouse, she is go, go, go all day, every day! Here's a pic of Kat with her sis.

We actually have a tradition where we allow her to jump on the bed upon arrival at the hotel, since… you know…it is vacation and all. I thought I had a picture of it, but I can't find it...so just imagine a 4 year old jumping on a hotel bed and laughing hysterically.

As you might have surmised, she’s equally as crazed about Disney as I am, and she LOVES to ride the rides. When we went on this trip, she was right at 41”, so she was tall enough to ride most of the rides. Not sure when I’ll convince her to ride EE – she’s still a little too short for it, but she’s convinced the monster is going to get her…so I’ve got some work to do. I got her on Dinosaur last year…but it might have scarred her for life. ;-)..

Her favorite rides are Barnstormer (it was her first rollercoaster), BTMRR, 7DMT, Soarin’, and ToT.

She loves all the princesses, but I’d say Aurora and Cinderella are her favorites.

She enjoys meeting the characters much more than her sister.

Her favorite movies are probably Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella as well. What can I say? She likes the classics.

A little bit of background and what precipitated this trip…

Short answer -- After dipping my toe in the water on a last minute day trip to Disneyland after not visiting a Disney park in 12 years (or watching any Disney movies for at least 5 years), my love for Disney snowballed out of control to the point where I now own 30+ movies, and I am a DVC member, an AP holder, and a TIW holder.

How did it get to that point, you ask?

Well -- I was going to bore all of you with my life's history -- but if I put that all down here right now, I'll lose all three of my readers, and I don't want to start off like that. Maybe somewhere down the road I'll post an Addendum or something for any hard core readers that stick around.

In the meantime -- just know that I am a full fledged Disneyholic and like many of you, am constantly dreaming about my next trip.

Ok – enough background – let’s get this trip report back on the rails.

This trip was a special one for me. While it was my 6th trip in two years, there were a lot of firsts, and honestly, I think this might have been, top to bottom, the best trip I’ve had at The World. The reason this trip was so special was because, not only was it to celebrate Kat’s 5th birthday, it was going to be just her and me!

Yes – a daddy/daughter trip to the world! If you didn't already figure this out -- then I seriously question how you function in day to day life.

Don’t get me wrong – I love going to Disney with DW and DD2, as well as bringing along the grandparents – but we’ve already done those trips! This one was special because it was just me and my partner in crime. With only two people, I knew I could more easily move from attraction to attraction, and I only had to focus on the wants and needs of one other person. So it was kind of like a solo trip, but with someone to share it with.

Plus – with her being a child, I had the ultimate veto power to decide what we did and when we did it...which basically means I didn't have DW second guessing all my decisions.

(no one tell her I said that, okay?)

Alrighty then!

Raise your hands if you want to join us for a fun filled Disney Dash!!!

Find out what is in store for us in the Next Chapter!!!

As this is my first TR, I actually wrote the whole thing out before posting just to make sure I actually finished it. So if you're wondering why I'm posting about a trip A LONG TIME AGO, no need to wonder why. Good news for everyone reading...I will not leave you hanging! This TR is guaranteed to be finished!

Last edited by mustinjourney; 05-07-2020 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:31 AM   #2
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Pretrip Plans
Day 1 -- Part I -- Travel Day
Day 1 -- Part II -- DHS
Day 2 -- Part III -- Epcot/Pool
Day 2 -- Part IV -- DVC Moonlight Magic
Day 3 -- Part V -- Pirate Adventure!
Day 3 -- Part VI - Moving time
Day 3 -- Part VII -- Date Night!
Day 4 -- Part VIII -- All Four Parks in one Day!?!
Day 4 -- Part IX -- CRT and Fireworks!
Day 5 -- Part X - Morning at MK!
Day 5 -- Part XI -- More Magic!

Last edited by mustinjourney; 04-17-2020 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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Pretrip plans:

The original plan was to make this trip more low key with less rides, more pool time, and more princesses and character meals – but based on feedback I got from Kat during our trip with the grandparents two months prior, it was clear to me that she was much more interested in riding rides than doing a lot of character meals. So say goodbye to Akershus, Bon Voyage, BOG (dinner) and Lilo & Stitch breakfast.

It’s not like those reservations are hard to get or anything.

With that said, canceling the breakfasts worked out pretty well since it allowed me some extra morning sleep time (and saved me some serious cash to boot).

With that said, I was NOT cancelling CRT dinner or 1900 Park Fare (dinner). The step sisters crack me up too much to miss them again.

On to the details – this trip was set for four nights, Saturday through Wednesday (January 27-31st). We ended up doing a split stay in order to minimize time spent on buses. The first two nights were BCV and the last two nights were PVB, with lake view in Moorea.

The original plan called for:

Saturday: Travel and then head to DHS for lunch and rides

Sunday: Epcot AM/Pool afternoon/DHS evening

Monday: Epcot AM/head to PVB (pool)/MK evening

Tuesday: MK and Epcot evening

Wednesday: sleep in/MK/pool/travel back home

As with all things, the plans changed and morphed. Once DVC announced that they were doing moonlight magic on Sunday 28th, I cut out the DHS evening stuff and planned for hitting up MK around 6 pm. That also meant Monday Epcot AM was toast since we’d be out so late the night before. Noticeably absent from the touring plan was DAK.

As this trip was primarily going to be “princess” themed, I hadn’t really planned on going to DAK. However, Kat told me she wanted to ride Dinosaur (I guess I didn’t scar her for life???). This shocked me a little bit, but with that thought in mind, I asked her what her thoughts were on hitting up all four parks in one day and she was excited to give it a try! Stay tuned to see how that goes. Haha

Ok – that should be enough background to get you all caught up on this trip. Stay tuned for Day 1!
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:41 AM   #4
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Part I -- Travel Day

So with this trip only consisting of four nights and five days, I made the executive decision that we would try to maximize our time at The World, and since we weren’t going to be spending much time at DHS, I knew we’d need to get there as early as possible. Unfortunately, this meant catching a really early flight.

Did I forget to mention that I’m not a morning person?

Like. Not. At. All.

But I do make exceptions for vacations!!!

As you’ve probably guessed from some of the hints I’ve dropped, this trip was not going to be a total surprise trip for Kat. However, she didn’t know WHEN we were going on the trip. I had actually told her we wouldn’t be going for another week, so the night before we left, she had no idea she was only a short eight hours from leaving for the happiest place on earth!

We had a 7:40 am flight, so I had everything packed and ready to go by midnight before I settled in for a quick four hour nap. Phone alarm went off far too early…but Disney traveling day has a way of getting the juices flowing and after a quick shower, I was ready to go! I got the car all packed up and then went upstairs to wake Kat up.

I slipped into her room and quietly got her up and out of bed without waking DD2. In order to keep the ruse going, I told Kat that I was taking her golfing with me.

We were out of the house by about 5:00 am. Of course, it was lightly raining outside – but it was too early in the morning for her to start questioning things. Plus she’s knows I’m crazy enough to golf in all kinds of conditions.

Side bar -- I apologize in advance -- I like doing side stories to give some context.

Prior to having kids, I was a pretty avid golfer. I joined a golf club here in Houston and was averaging about 60-75 rounds a year. DW would join me about 20 times for 9 holes. However, after Kat was born -- those numbers dropped precipitously. I played maybe 30 rounds (GPs lived close to course, so I could drop Kat off and play 18 while they got to hang out with the first grandkid and DW got 6 hours to herself -- so it was a win-win), and DW played probably 4 that first year. Then second DD came and my rounds dropped to about 10 a year and DW played zero. So needless to say, I had to drop the membership because it made no sense to pay to not play.

But before I dropped the membership, I would skip out of work around 3 pm and pick Kat up from day care a few times here and there and get in a quick 9+ holes. She was a great partner.

I was a huge golf fanatic -- but what is funny is that I don't miss golfing nearly as much as I miss just taking her out in the afternoons during those random days. So much fun.

But I digress...

Back to the insane early morning start...

We made our customary pit stop at the neighborhood kolache place and started out for the airport…I mean golf course. About halfway there, Kat started questioning why we were heading to golf while it was still dark outside. I guess the kolache got her mind to start firing on all cylinders?

Damnit! This was not something I had accounted for. I had to act quickly. What to say? What to say? My cover is about to be blown!!! All this deception will be for naught! Hurry! Come up with something!

"Early? What do you mean early? By the time we get there and warm up, it'll be sunny! Plus, since we're playing so early, we'll be able to do more fun stuff today! Won't that be AWESOME?"

(Inner monologue) "Whew! That was close! You are a genius!"

Kat: "But what about the rain?"

Me: (inner monologue) "dammit -- I knew I shouldn't have gotten the kolache! Her brain is actually functioning now!"

At this point, the rain was really picking up. And with her mental faculties catching up, I shifted the topic a little and mentioned that the rain might prevent us from golfing and so we might need a backup plan.

Kat sighed and said, “let’s just go home then.”

Me: “You don’t want to do something else? Surely we can do something fun.”

Kat: “let’s just watch a movie at home.”

Me: “well. If you could do anything, what would you want to do?”

Kat: “Go home and watch a movie.”

<Insert Dramatic pause>

Me: “Really? If you could ANYTHING???”

Kat: “well. I’d like to go vacation…but that’s next week. So we can’t go right now.”

<hahaha. Now I got her where I want her>

Me: “Hey…You know what? That sounds like fun. What do you say we head there right now???”

Kat: “WHAT??? Are you serious? What about our bags?”

Me: “Yep!!! We’re heading to the airport right now. They’re in the back of the trunk. We weren’t ever going golfing!!! I hope you’re not mad at daddy for playing a trick on you.”

Kat: [After a high pitched squeal] “Playing tricks on people isn’t nice. But I’m not mad at you, daddy.”

Me: "You're right. Daddy was pretty mean. You going to be ok?

Kat: BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!

Drive to the airport was uneventful, which is a good thing. I could barely contain my excitement with the anticipation of all the fun we’d have together. I’d been looking forward to this trip for over a year, and now that it had finally started, I had to fight back the happy tears while driving through the rain.

After we got to the park and ride, I finally got Kat changed into her Disney outfit (she was still in her PJs). I then continued the surprises with a Lady plush doll! I’m such a sucker.

Here’s a picture that pretty much sums it up.

We made it to the airport and through TSA without issues and hung out at the United lounge for about 40 minutes or so.

One thing nice about traveling with just Kat is I can get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. DW seems to love to play the game of how few minutes can she spend in the airport before boarding. I’m not exaggerating when I say we’ve been the last people to board on two separate occasions.

Alrighty – where was I? Oh yes. Time for boarding.

We boarded our flight and settled into our seats. It’s a 2ish hour flight from Houston to Orlando, so our arrival time was set for 10:55 EST, and we were pretty much right on time. Good thing, too, because we had a lunch ADR set for 12:50 at Sci-Fi and I didn’t want to miss it.

After landing on time, taxiing took a little longer than normal, but we got off the plane super fast, and we stopped off in the United lounge so I could grab a quick drink before heading down to DME (I got a double vodka diet sprite and threw it into the Yeti – tipped the bar tender $4 and said “you didn’t see that.” He smiled and nodded. After 6 trips in less than two years, he already knows me. Don’t judge!). We were making such great time, I had no doubts that we’d make our lunch ADRs, and I figured a free drink (or two) would get this party started off on the right foot.

We boarded the fake-o-rail at 11:20.

Not the greatest timing – but we should be fine.

That was until we ran into this…

Not sure how easy it is to see from the picture, but in the five previous trips, I’ve never had to wait more than one or two people to scan my magic band at the first spot. Needless to say, this line took awhile to get through. And it didn’t help that EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON didn’t have their paperwork or their magic bands out when they got to the front.

I mean seriously??? If you’re standing behind someone, don’t you notice that they’re having to get their magic bands out? Am I the only one that isn’t clueless? I could feel the characters from Inside Out waging war inside my brain.

When it was finally our turn to scan in, I sashayed to the desk (hat tip to @pkondz ) and scanned us both in and we were on our way. I think it took all of 10 seconds. If only everyone else could be like me.

As expected, the bus we needed left while I was watching the MENSA applicants in front of me, so we had to wait an ungodly 10 or 15 minutes for the next bus (if you don't like hyperbole -- you might want to stop reading). But the silver lining was that we were practically the first ones on the bus! Naturally – we should take the first available row…but Kat thought it would be fun to sit in the back!


Doesn’t she understand the importance of being at the front??? And it’s right there for the taking!!!

Well – since this trip is for her, I figured I’d take one for the team and we could sit in the back.


We finally got moving around 11:40 am and were on our way! Sitting in the back was actually kind of nice since it allowed us to spread out a little more.

Plus, the bus driver let us go to the very front of the bus to get the coveted picture since no one sat in the handicap seats.

Bonus! He earned an extra $5 for that! I think the free drink(s) was/were starting to loosen my purse strings. Ha!

We didn’t get to BCV lobby until around 12:30 pm, so we were definitely running late. By 12:40 pm, we had dropped our bags off with bell services and then took off on the walking path for DHS with Kat in the stroller. It was now about 1:00 pm, so I made pretty good time and figured we would only be a few minutes late…but then I ran into this at the security entrance.

Of course a Brazilian tour group would drop off two busloads of people RIGHT before we got there. It’s not like I have any place to be!!!

Stay tuned to see if we make our lunch ADR at Sci-Fi!
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:43 AM   #5
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Off to a great start! Can’t wait for the rest. I also enjoy traveling with my (now adult) partner in crime, so I get it. And “Kat” is absolutely adorable! Omg! What a cutie!
(ME, Mindy) (DH, Tim) (DS, Brandon) (DD, Emily, Emma, or Princess, lol!) (DSGF, Heather)
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:41 AM   #6
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Looks like a fun adventure! BTW I just love the faces on the girls on the Frozen ride. Dare I confess that is the same look I have ( I do NOT like water rides).
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by reblzmom View Post
Looks like a fun adventure! BTW I just love the faces on the girls on the Frozen ride. Dare I confess that is the same look I have ( I do NOT like water rides).
And I was just think that the baby’s picture with Belle is probably how I looked when I walked in to 3 new admission Thursday night!
(ME, Mindy) (DH, Tim) (DS, Brandon) (DD, Emily, Emma, or Princess, lol!) (DSGF, Heather)
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:59 AM   #8
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Oh how fun! I love that picture with your youngest and Belle... Our transformation to becoming Disney crazies is a little more spread out... but I’m blessed my partner in life is just as crazy
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:09 AM   #9
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FUN! Love this TR. Looking forward to reading lots more of the adventures.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:46 PM   #10
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What an incredible start to trip reporting! Looking forward to much more of this and future trips. Great (and very cute) pictures!

I know you’ve already had the pleasure of meeting Tom. Hopefully our paths cross in the near future.
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