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Trip Report So we went to Disney again... - an August/17 trip report

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by gwhb75, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. gwhb75

    gwhb75 Well-Known Member

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    Intro

    Hello again everyone, and welcome to the 2017 (part 1) Burnett family trip report. Hopefully you'll enjoy following us through another fun/crazy/childish humor filled trip report

    If you want to see the pre-trip report :http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/...riginal-title-so-you-get-this-instead.927386/

    Or, if you don’t want to go to the PTR, a quick recap:


    Who
    Same group as all the other trips we've done in the past

    There's Tammy and I
    Tammy and I 2.png

    and Steph and Liam
    Kids.jpg

    Actually, this picture may capture them better...
    kids and Cooper.png


    When

    We were down at WDW from August 19th to the 28th


    Where

    Back when we were planning this trip, we asked Steph and Liam where they wanted to stay. Steph wanted Boardwalk, and Liam wanted Poly (we’re DVC btw). We decided to give them both what they wanted, and did a split stay. We spent the first 5 days at a garden/pool view room at the Boardwalk, and the last 4 days at a lake view room at the Poly.


    Well…let’s get started


    Countdown – everything up to August 18th

    Where to start… We were pretty busy right up until we were on the plane to head to Florida. We did most of the packing for the trip in the few days before the 19th, and were really looking forward to getting away.

    We took our cat Zoey over to my parent’s house on the 17th (my Dad loves cats and loves it when the cats get to stay over),
    zoey.jpg
    and our dog Cooper was picked up on the morning of the 18th to go to his daycare/overnight place.
    Cooper.jpg
    We’ll miss the animals.


    We’re almost ready to go…


    However, as I mentioned in the PTR, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer back in May and I had been going with my Mom and Dad to all of her appointments (I was there to take notes and ask questions, as my parents are both 80 and tend to get things mixed up). The reason this plays into the trip report is because we found out during the first week of August that she was going to have surgery on August 18th.

    So, after weeks and weeks of appointments, the 18th finally arrived. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a different day than what you normally expect on the day before a Disney trip. Yes, we were excited about the upcoming trip, but also anxious about Mom’s surgery (and also very well aware that if there were complications then the trip would be postponed).

    Here's my Mom and I at the hospital waiting to get checked in
    orca-image-1503053282994.jpg_1503053283107.jpeg

    The good news is that everything went very well. Mom’s surgery was at 9am, and lasted about 2 hours. After a few hours in recovery we were able to see her. She was kind of groggy, but was doing well.

    I brought my Dad back to our home after we saw her, so that he could take a nap (he didn’t sleep well the night before the surgery). He slept for about an hour and then headed back to the hospital.

    At around 4ish we finished packing up the car, and then I drove Tammy and the kids down to the hospital to see my Mom. I was surprised at how well Mom was doing. She was wide awake and was already asking the Dr if she could just go home that day (I already though it was crazy that you only stay in less than 24 hours after a mastectomy). She is one tough lady. Everyone was happy to see her doing so well, and she kept telling us we should get going, so we did.

    We jumped in the car and headed across the border to Buffalo. We made a few stops (Sam’s Club (picked up some more gift cards and some breakfast stuff), the hotel (the Sleep Inn by the airport), the airport (to weigh our bags so there would be no panicked repacking at the airport the next morning), and the Cracker Barrel (for dinner)). We were back in our room by around 9:30 and settled in for a few hours of sleep before our super early (3:15am) wake-up call.

    see you tomorrow
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  2. Shane7694

    Shane7694 Active Member

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    I'm in! Glad to hear that about your mom. Hope everything continues to go well for her and your family. Love your trip reports.. We stayed at the Poly and boardwalk back in July and loved both places..
     
  3. Kiwiduck

    Kiwiduck Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to the report. Hope all goes well with your Mum's recovery.
     
  4. MinnieM123

    MinnieM123 Well-Known Member

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    Zoey and Cooper are so sweet! I'm sure you'll miss them when you're on vacation. But here's looking forward to fun times for you and the family again at WDW. I'll be following! :)
     
  5. myhappyplace

    myhappyplace Well-Known Member

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    Excellent start, especially your mom's quick recovery!
     
    MinnieM123 likes this.
  6. fractal

    fractal Premium Member

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    Hope your Mom continues to recover. Following along!
     
  7. riverside

    riverside Active Member

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    Glad to hear your moms surgery went well. Looking forward to your report!!
     
  8. TheMouseFan

    TheMouseFan Well-Known Member

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    I'm in! Hoping your mom continues to do well! Can't well to hear about the rest of your trip!
     
  9. Matty30

    Matty30 Well-Known Member

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    Count me in! Glad to hear everything went well with your mom.
     
  10. ajrwdwgirl

    ajrwdwgirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad your mom's surgery went well and hopefully has a good recovery! Looking forward to seeing your family's adventures.
     
  11. gwhb75

    gwhb75 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1 – August 19th

    3:15 is a crazy early hour to have to wake up. I hate that feeling when you wake up that early. It’s like a mix of nausea and confusion for the first few minutes until you fully wake up. Fortunately, everyone got up without too much trouble and we were down waiting for the shuttle to the airport at 4:20. The nice thing about flying out that early is that the airport is pretty empty. There was a very small line at the Southwest desk when we arrived so it wasn’t too long before our checked bags were weighed and gone. Next up was airport security. Luckily, we have Nexus cards, which means we’re considered “trusted travelers”. That makes use eligible for the TSA pre-screen, so the airport security stuff was pretty easy too (almost like a fastpass for the airport – although at 4:40am there really was no line anyways).
    20170819_043958_HDR.jpg
    We cleared security and then headed down to our gate.

    Here's the time after clearing security
    20170819_044554_HDR.jpg
    Not bad for arriving at the aiport at 4:20

    After finding some seats we started thinking about breakfast. I was happy the Whichiwch store was open, so we went in and ordered 4 breakfast sandwiches.
    20170819_050114_HDR.jpg
    They were quite good.

    Us hanging by the gate
    20170819_051927.jpg

    20170819_052239_HDR.jpg
    Not looking too bad for miminal sleep.

    Before long it was time to board and start our very chopped-up trip to MCO (Orlando’s airport code in case you didn’t know). Let me explain. For some reason I had the Southwest flights for our time period being released a day later than they actually were. This means that I missed booking those sweet direct flights they have on the release day. Instead, we ended up boarding our plane at 6:15 (ironically, the same time as the direct flight), but then flying to Baltimore, changing planes, then flying to Virginia (just a touch-down, no flight change) and then finally to Orlando. This doesn’t bother me or the kids at all, as we love flying. Tammy…not so much. And of course, she hates the taking off and landing parts the most. Maybe I’ll try to spin this as trying to help her conquer her fear of flying by having her repeatedly experience the things she hates until she gets used to them…

    20170819_061334_HDR.jpg

    20170819_073907_HDR.jpg

    The flight down was relatively uneventful (at least for me it was since I slept for most of it LOL). We made our connecting flight OK, and didn’t hit a whole lot of turbulence throughout the trip.
    20170819_063615_HDR.jpg
    The kids kept Tammy busy playing card games with her to help pass the time, and before we knew it we were in Orlando.
    20170819_124815_HDR.jpg
    I love that feeling when you walk out the plane and get hit in the face with that wall of humidity (I’m not being sarcastic here. This is one of the things we talk about with anticipation before each trip. It’s kind of like the trip officially starts when the humidity hits).

    We made our way over to the Magical Express desk after deplaning, and were put right on a bus with no wait.
    ME group selfie
    20170819_130249.jpg

    up next - checking in to Boardwalk and hitting the parks....
     
  12. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member

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    Following along :)
     
  13. LisaBelle

    LisaBelle Well-Known Member

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    Following along! Glad to hear your mom's surgery went well. Hope her recovery goes well.
    I'm like Tammy. I would have had a miserable trip with all that taking off and landing. It was nice of the kids to keep her busy on the flight.
    Can't wait to read about the rest of your trip!
     
  14. gwhb75

    gwhb75 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1 continued - checking in at Boardwalk and hitting the parks.

    A half-hour bus ride later, we rolled up to the Boardwalk.
    20170819_142435_HDR.jpg
    20170819_135819_HDR.jpg

    OK, I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t looking forward to staying at Boardwalk. We had stayed at Beach Club a few years ago and really didn’t like it, so I wasn’t too optimistic that I’d like Boardwalk since they were in the same area. I’ll leave you in suspense for now as to what I thought about Boardwalk.

    I had done the on-line check in a few weeks before we arrived, so check-in went smoothly. We actually could have skipped the check-in desk altogether if it wasn’t for the fact that Disney can’t sent Magicbands to Canada. We were quite happy that our room was ready (this was around 1:30ish), so we headed up to drop off our carry ons and take some room pictures before we trashed the place.

    We found the room no problem, but it was a bit of a hike from the pool/front desk (it was almost one of the last rooms before Jellyrolls/the Atlantic Dance Hall). A few days in we found out it was actually closer to take a bus to the Dolphin and walk to our room than to get the Boardwalk bus.

    So we find the room OK, and I start taking a few pictures. I had brought my phone with me (an LG G5 – a pretty good phone for taking pictures as it has a lot of manual settings) but I had also brought my DSLR (for night pictures and other more “challenging” pictures, as well as a point and shoot that I thought I would bring to the waterparks). I started taking some room pictures with the phone, and then decided to switch to the DSLR…uh oh….who took the memory card out of the camera?

    “No big deal” I thought to myself “I’ll just take the memory card out of the point and shoot and transfer it to the DSLR”….ummmm….who took the memory card out of the point and shoot? That’s right…I brought a whole bag full of camera equipment, and didn’t have a single memory card. Now I could have either ordered one from Amazon and had it sent to the Boardwalk, or bought one at Disney (that wasn’t going to happen – I took a look later in the week and they wanted $70US for 32GB. I bought a 128GB from Amazon for my phone before we arrived and it was $21 CAD). So, it looks like I’m going to be doing just LG G5 pictures this trip. Oh well.




    20170819_141039_HDR.jpg

    20170819_141410_HDR.jpg



    Our view from the third floor
    20170819_141137_HDR.jpg
    We were very happy with our room. It felt quite large, and the fold-down bed was a nice bonus (the kids alternated who slept in it every night),

    After finishing up in the room we headed down to the bus stop to head over to the MK (it was now around 2:15 and we had a Space Mountain FP that started at 2:15).

    This is where I'll explain that I normally had to take 2-3 of the same picture any time the kids were in a picture. Why? This:
    20170819_142526_HDR.jpg

    It actually got pretty funny. Normally picture taking with the kids went like this:

    1) Take picture - Liam would make a stupid face
    2) Tell Liam to stop
    3) Take picture again - Steph would make a stupid face
    4) Say something like "Oh come on...really?"
    5) Take the "real'" picture

    This time we only needed two shots 20170819_142617_HDR.jpg

    Before long the bus arrived (I like how a lot of the resorts now have the bus arrival times posted).

    Bus selfie with Steph

    20170819_145422.jpg

    Steph is always happy to take a picture with Tammy and I, and is OK with hugs/kisses/arms around her, even in public. Liam, however...
    20170819_145519_HDR.jpg
    He likes to bug Tammy and "act" like he doesn't like it (OK, maybe there isn't much acting in terms of how he feels about it, but he knows the overreaction to it will get a laugh).

    Up next - hitting the MK
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  15. gwhb75

    gwhb75 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1 continued - Hitting the MK and upgrading our tickets

    We made it to the MK and went through their new bag check area (which I like a lot more than the old set-up).

    However, before we could get into the parks we had to go to guest services to pick up our tickets.

    Back in early 2017, the US dollar was flying high against the Canadian dollar (I believe at one point a Canadian dollar was worth around $.66 US). Disney came out with a ticket offer for Canadians that offered a 25% discount on anything over a 4 day ticket. We had ordered 9 day tickets with park hopper and waterparks. However, to activate them we had to go to guest services with our passports to prove we are Canadian. The line at guest services was a bit long (actually, the line wasn’t long, but it was taking a long time for everyone to get their issues dealt with). Finally we get up to the window and activate our tickets. At the same time I asked about upgrading to the premium platinum annual passes. DVC came out with an AP deal that made the premium platinum AP the same price as the gold which, if I did my math right, was only going to cost us about $200 more for the four of us to upgrade (which would be the price we were going to pay for Memory Maker anyways). However, I also was aware that they may not take the value of the ticket against the AP, but rather take the price we paid for the tickets (with the 25% discount) and apply that. That would make the upgrade cost $200/person. Want to guess which one it was…It was the latter.

    I had heard that there may be a way to “trick” the system by using the ticket once to enter a park, which supposedly makes the system “forget” what you paid for the ticket, so we decided we’d give that a shot (not to mention Liam was getting a bit antsy as it was now 3:15 and our Space Mountain FP window was closed). We rushed through the “turnstiles” and booked it down Main St to SM. We tapped our bands at the FP check-in…Green Mickey head…yaaaa (we later found out that you have a 15 minutes after the end of the window to use the FP). We had a great ride through Space.
    wdw2017231797587213_8086225744_dsnyRes-base_dsnyLoc-reg.jpeg
    wdw2017231797587203_8086225730_dsnyRes-base_dsnyLoc-reg.jpeg
    After Space we headed over to Fantasyland for our 7DMT FP. It was fun (Tammy really enjoys this one).

    20170819_155236_HDR.jpg

    wdw2017231797617494_8086241336_dsnyRes-base_dsnyLoc-reg.jpeg

    With our trip with midget miners out of the way, we headed back to City Hall (that’s where the inside-the-park guest services is located) to upgrade our tickets to AP.

    On the way there Liam asks “What will we do if the price is still $200/person”

    “I’m going to ask to speak to the mayor” I replied.

    That line in and of itself isn’t that funny, but it became a running joke the rest of the trip (although we changed the authority figure depending on the park – Hollywood Studios was “the director”, Animal Kingdom was “the chief”, etc).

    The line at City Hall wasn’t too bad, and before long we were at the desk. It turns out our idea to “trick” the system was just an urban legend. The price was still going to be $200/person. We decided to bite the bullet and do the upgrade. There were a few reasons why

    1) We are still planning on coming back in November for the World Karate Championships, and the price of the upgrade would be less than the price we’d pay for any park tickets we’d buy at that time
    2) We hadn’t bought Memory Maker yet since it was included in the AP, and if we didn’t upgrade we’d end up paying $200 for it
    3) The dining discounts were pretty good with the AP (20% at a lot of restaurants)
    4) There’s a chance Tammy and I will be doing an adults-only trip before next August since it’s out 20th anniversary in 2018.

    A few minutes later, and we were proud AP holders (with fancy-shmancy sliders no less).
    20170819_163634_HDR.jpg
    After finishing with the upgrade we decided we should eat (the breakfast sandwiches were but a memory from 8 hours ago by now, and the small bags of peanuts/pretzels on Southwest don’t really fill you). We decided Pecos bills would be a good place to go (and, bonus, it was one of the restaurants offering a 20% AP discount). We made it to Fronteirland and entered Pecos Bills. The place wasn’t too busy (probably because it’s a bit of an off time for dinner (around 4ish). We ended up getting 2 burrito platters, 1 taco platter, and one Southwest burger (not sure what happened to the picture of the burger, but Liam tells me it was good). All were good.

    This tasted better than it looked:
    20170819_170114_HDR.jpg


    20170819_170122_HDR.jpg
    After eating we had one last FP for the day on BTM. We hadn’t been on it since the refurb last year and I was really looking forward to seeing how it looked. We boarded our run-away train and headed through the wild west in short order. Everything looked much more vibrant than the last time we rode, I just wish they had pulled the trigger on the lift-hill effects that were planned. Still a good ride though.
    20170819_173143_HDR.jpg

    With our "wildest ride in the wilderness" now over, we decided to call it a day for the MK, and started heading back to the front. On the way through Liberty Square Steph reminded me that we need to take our annual picture of them in the stocks.
    20170819_174058_HDR.jpg

    I know I do this in every trip report, but it's crazy to compare this to how they looked during our first trip back in 2008
    growth.jpg

    It's tough seeing them get older, knowing that the time is coming when they either won't want to come with us any more, or won't be able to becuase of work/school commitments.

    Still to come...back to the hotel and to sleep or not to sleep...
     
  16. CaliKris

    CaliKris Member

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    I'm following along! Your trip reports are always very entertaining and this one is helping me get through the wait until our trip in November. We are taking our twenty-something children. It does get harder to schedule family trips as they get older but it is possible. Our kids still love Disney as I'm sure yours will too. We have so many happy, family memories from our Disney trips in the past.

    Best wishes to your mom for a speedy recovery!
     
  17. gwhb75

    gwhb75 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Day 1 continued - to sleep or not to sleep

    With pictures out of the way, we continued making our way out of the park via Fantasyland. We walked past Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, and were approaching Prince Charming’s carousel when we saw it….some random area roped off for no reason. It’s great having kids who are older now who share my sense of humor (i.e. kind of childish/odd/can find something funny in just about anything). I mention that because Liam and I look at that roped off little triangle area, and both kind of think the same thing…someone needs to stand in there and start waving at people like they’re some kind of celebrity. Before I knew it, Liam did.
    20170819_174422_HDR.jpg
    It was funny watching other people walk by and look at him, trying to figure out what was going on. He then stepped it up a bit more, but sitting down inside this little area, almost like he was being punished for something. Someone walked by and I heard her say to her friend “There’s someone sitting in there. That’s the greatest thing I think I’ve ever seen”. Too funny. Unfortunately, a nearby CM didn’t share our sense of humor and told Liam he couldn’t sit in there.

    To top this all off, Liam walks over to me, shoots a quick glance over at the CM, then whispers to me “we need to talk to the mayor about this”. Too funny.

    Next up Liam decided to try and pull the sword out of the stone, but to no avail.
    wdw2017231797740069_404315113100_dsnyRes-base_dsnyLoc-reg.jpg
    After that we finally called it a day and left the MK, and headed back to the Boardwalk.

    When we got back to the room our bags were there. The kids quickly changed into their bathing suits and headed down to the pool (the one with the creepy clown), and Tammy and I organized the room a bit. After getting the room organized we joined them at the pool. As creepy as the pool slide is, it is one of the best ones in terms of water pressure/quantity, as you could really fly down it.
    20170819_194224_HDR.jpg
    We stayed at the pool for about an hour and then headed back to the room.

    So it’s now 8:00pm. We’ve been up since 3:30 in the morning. We should go to bed. Except for one thing…It’s the last day of extra EMH and AK (from 10-12). Tammy was really struggling to get excited about this. I told her to stay in the room. She was worried we wouldn’t be happy if she didn’t come. I pointed out we wouldn’t be happy if she came and was exhausted the whole time either. She saw the logic in that and decided to go to bed. The kids and I decided we could sleep later, and headed out to AK.
    20170819_204524_HDR.jpg

    We arrived at AK around 9:00 and made our way over to Dinosaur first (I managed to get a FP for it).
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    Dinosaur was closed last year for refurb when we were there, and we missed it. It was great to ride it again, and the refurb had the place looking great.

    Next up was Everest, which is still one of our favorites. I could ride that all day (well, in theory I could ride it all day. I have a feeling that my age/inner ear would tell me I could ride 2-3 times).
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    Lastly, we made our way over to Pandora (Pandora was the only land open for the extra EMH from 10-12). I was really looking forward to seeing what Pandora looked like. We were not disappointed. The place is just amazing, even if you just want to walk around. Sadly, the low lighting is not condusive to great pictures when you are a) only using a phone to take pictures and b) don't want to stop to take pictures. We found the entrance to Flight of Passage, but there was no way we were waiting over 2 hours. We were surprised, however, to see only a 25 minute standby wait for the Navi’i River Journey, and decided we may as well give it a shot. Again, just an amazing job. I agree with the reviews I read,that it is a bit short, and it’s kind of hard to tell what the story is supposed to be (although I think it has to do with all the animals heading to the shaman of song). but it is still an amazingly well themed ride. We really enjoyed it.

    a bit more to come for day 1...
     
  18. gwhb75

    gwhb75 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    A last little bit of day 1.

    After the River Journey we made a brief stop at the Rookery to see the banshee’s that could be purchased.
    20170819_231438.jpg
    Liam looked like he was interested, but I recommended he wait since we hadn’t even been at Disney for a full day yet. He agreed, and with that we headed out.

    We made it back to the room around 12:30 and finally got into bed. That was a long day for sure (21 hours awake), but really worth it. The good news is that tomorrow we are going to Typhoon Lagoon which doesn’t open until 10 so we COULD sleep in a bit. The bad news is that I committed to go walking with Tammy every morning, and we like to do that before it gets too hot. So, as much as sleeping in a bit would be nice, I set the alarm for 6:30 and drifted off sleep.


    One thing I am going to do at the end of every day is post my step count. I received a Garmin step counter/heart rate monitor for Christmas, and have loved it ever since. I was originally thinking that I wouldn’t hit my 10,000 daily step goal today because of all the travelling we had. Boy was I wrong.

    Steps - Aug 18.png

    That’s it for day 1Coming Up: Typhoon Lagoon, Hollywood Studios, and an unexpected meal.
     
  19. Tuvalu

    Tuvalu Premium Member

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    I just love your euphemisms.
    "Tammy and I organized the room a bit." :cautious:

    Appreciate the Tuvalu pose on Everest. :D
     
  20. fractal

    fractal Premium Member

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    Full fledged teenager mode. I love it!

    Following along.
     
    MinnieM123 likes this.

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