Great report. You have a beautiful family.
(I am thinking of @Captain Barbossa Snow White/apple story and totally cracking up!!!)It's always the apple! Had the same thing happen to me last spring (and mine was just a plain old regular apple) but the TSA agent wouldn't tell me why they pulled my bag (plus lots of other people's) and no one was coming over to check them! I think we waited at least 30 mins before someone was finally checking the pulled bags. All that fuss for an !
What a great TR!!!Final Thoughts
This trip was definitely different in a lot of ways, and while a lot were good (I'll get to those in a second), there were some negatives too. I'd be lying to say I wasn't disappointed we didn't get on 7DMT, BTMR and Splash. When we left I was wondering how that was even possible considering I felt like we even overdid it in some ways this trip. I knew we did extras, BBB for example, but this TR really helped me get my thoughts together on all those things that were worth it that we did instead. We ate extra TS meals, we repeated favorite rides, we did A LOT of M&Gs. A lot of things that made great memories, which is really the purpose for this trip.
For the hotel - CBR is lovely, especially the grounds. I never stayed there before the renovation, but the new OPR is gorgeous. The pool was wonderful and the rooms while a little dated, worked great for us. One of my biggest regrets is not taking more advantage of the resort amenities, especially watching the fireworks from the beach or doing the nightly campfire. The biggest downfall for us of the resort was that it was bigger than we pictured. While having the bus stop close to our room was really convenient, I missed going through the lobby every day as a "home base". Also, I have to agree with @TheMouseFan in her latest report - the service wasn't there. Nothing really bad happened, but overall the service was more on the negative than the positive. Add in that on on the CBR FB groups it appears some guests get a ton of extras (balloons, treasure chests etc), and others have been being bumped because it's overbooked. I don't think we'll stay here again too soon, at least until they figure out a consistent customer service strategy.
Once again we were on the meal plan because we got it for free. While that's great, and I think we actually got pretty good value out of it, next time we will be skipping it. We feel like we have to go to a certain number of restaurants, and also only go to the ones that would be good value (skipping places like the Plaza, or Beaches and Cream because we can't justify using the plan). We also do want to try another sig next time because Citrico's was amazing. Luckily C is the type of kid who (usually) can handle a restaurant like that. Let's hope her brother is the same way.
I think in some ways we also pushed too hard in the beginning this trip. From MVMCP the first night, to a full day of Epcot > Citricos > HEA, and then staying all day at AK with a late dinner , we were exhausted and our bellies were too full. I want to figure out a way to get in the nighttime shows (we didn't even see TSL or Pandora at night!) and also get some earlier nights in at the resort for next time. Extra days maybe? We'll see.
MVMCP was awesome and would definitely do it again. Maybe we lucked out since the crowds weren't awful, but the parade was a highlight of the trip. Overall we really enjoyed going this time of year, since the crowds were manageable, the holiday decorations were up the temperature was pleasant.
Traveling with the in-laws was actually great! It was kind of nice to have extra people along for the ride, and it didn't hurt to have someone else who could go on EE and TT with me. Traveling with larger groups definitely depends on the people involved though, so I think we're pretty lucky that we all get along well.
We were very concerned about going when K was pregnant, and overall it worked out better than expected. If she continued to need the ECV that might have been a different story, especially once her parents left. I definitely have a new found respect for people who have the stress of the ECV!
Favorite meals were by far Citrico's, CRT and Crystal Palace. The Cantina was really great, as was the mac and cheese in AK. I'm sorry to say Boma was a prey big disappointment. Besides MVMCP, my favorite day was probably AK, since we did just slow down and enjoy it. I wish we would have had more time in Epcot to enjoy WS some more, but I feel we did make the best of the time we had there.
As for future plans, we're probably taking a break for a bit, just because life is crazy. Two kids in daycare = $$$, we probably want to move from our townhouse into a single family, and C and her brother are on such different schedules right now, it would mean a lot of splitting up which we want to avoid. Tentatively we're looking at December 2021, and would probably rent DVC points at either Beach Club or Bay Lake. We would probably still need to do rider switch quite a bit, and with all the new attractions by then, and trying to satisfy at 3 year old boy and a 7 year old girl, you bet I already started a spreadsheet. And to help with the Disney blues . There is a VERY slight possibility K will have a conference next spring in Disney, but in no way am I counting on it.
Thank you all for reading along, and as this post really showed me - I apologize for any times I was too verbose. Sometimes I over-explain and/or share too much, so thank you for dealing with it all!
In ending, here's a few final pictures:
These are the ornaments we had the characters sign. K made most of them, and I did a few. Sofia was definitely my pride and joy.
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It's funny to think 5 short years ago our goal was to have our tree be mostly red and silver. Now it's colored with a Disney explosion!
The day we got back, all C wanted to do was see her puppy brother Toby. When she was first born he was definitely confused what to do with her, and even still is getting used to taking commands from her, but the love of these two is great. He actually walks the best when she's holding the leash, even though I'm very careful about being nearby when she does.
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So until next time, I'll be following along on everyone else's adventures, and be living vicariously through you. I do have all of the pictures from our 2017 trip and @riverside has given me some ideas to do a post dated TR because that trip was even better than this one!
Thanks again for letting me share this all with you
Thanks for sharing with us . I’ll be looking out for your 2017 TR
Thank you again! Your family is beautiful and your trip looked like it was awesome! Congrats on the new addition.
Great TR Would love to read about the 2017 trip if you decide to share.
Great report. You have a beautiful family.
Thanks for letting us follow along with your family and congratulations again on your new addition!
Thank you for sharing your report. I honestly want to adopt C - her photos are just to cute!!
HUGE congratulations on the arrival of your son! I hope the new little one is settling into the family well...
What a great TR!!!
I, for one, love verbose!!!
Congrats again on your son! I cant wait to watch him grow up with Disney World as the background!
Thank you everyone! It really was a lot of fun to share!Thanks for sharing this TR! You have a wonderful family!!
It's a lot of fun--my vote is to do it!!So until next time, I'll be following along on everyone else's adventures, and be living vicariously through you. I do have all of the pictures from our 2017 trip and @riverside has given me some ideas to do a post dated TR because that trip was even better than this one!
Thanks again for letting me share this all with you
Well, I can finally catch up a bit! Real life got super busy...looking forward to reading the rest!Exactly, putting my picture on this site is enough fame for me haha. But a pregnancy? I don't get how that could even cause someone to feel something negative. I don't know if for them if their youtube channel has become a major source of income (I still have no idea how vloggers make money but I think it does for some), but then I would feel even worse if they "had to" keep posting unless they wanted to get a new career.
How sweet are the kids that are so excited that they are bouncing off the walls!? I don't mind that IF their parents have at least tried to correct them when they bump into people. If the parents are seeing it, but too lazy to even say "I can see you are really excited, but you need to watch where you're walking so you don't bump into people." then I get a bit disgruntled. But it doesn't sound like this is what happened here, it was just genuine excitement, which is adorable. And then it makes it extra special to have a great interaction...it's not fun when you wait for a long time and then the person isn't very good with the kids. So glad your ending was such a happy moment!!I'll admit I was thinking of putting off the final posts, because it really is almost as bad as ending the trip itself! But, after 6 months, I figure it's time to round this thing out.
We had one more FP left - to meet Tinkerbell. We started the trip by meeting Mickey, and ending by meeting Tink seemed to come full circle. In the FP queue there was a larger family behind us with one older kid who was super excited to meet Tink. She kept bumping into us, cutting in front of us etc. The family was really nice and kept apologizing, and we told them we totally get it and not to worry about it. Obnoxious people I don't like - Excited kids who forget their manners because they are THAT excited I don't mind. It's actually kind of endearing to see people so purely happy.
Soon enough we were in Pixie Hollow, and we were all blown away by the details.
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I thought I got a picture of it, but apparently not, but there was a strangely disguised corner that I assumed was the photography box.
When we got closer to Tink, her personality was super bubbly, her voice was high pitched, and we were kind of relieved when the lady behind us also seemed suprised someone could be THAT excited all the time. I believe our conversation with her had to do with the special Pixie Dust Tink must have back stage to keep up that persona for so long.
Anyway, soon enough it was C's turn to meet Tink, and like always she ran right up for a hug.
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For all my snarkiness about Tink's personality, this was an awesome M&G and was one of the top of the trip. She was so into character it was exactly what we needed to end the trip on.
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I believe this was when C showed Tink the ornament for her to sign.
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I remember Tink kept talking to her about Pixie Dust and if C had ever flown before. Before this trip C knew Tinkerbell and liked her, and afterwards she started absolutely loving the character.
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A bit blurry, but an enthuastic high five good bye
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I didn't realize the specifics of it, but that makes it sound so much harder than I would be willing to do haha. But I agree, no one should ever feel they have the right to do that. I guess no one can know just what's wrong with people somedays!Well, I can finally catch up a bit! Real life got super busy...looking forward to reading the rest!
As for the Youtube channels, you have to have a LOT of followers to make a good amount of money. One of the channels I follow said that how it works is that when you get to 1000 subscribers, you can add ads to your video and if people watch them, you get a little bit. The more people who watch, and the more ads there are, the more money you make. This particular youtuber (Emily's Wanderland) said she was able to book her flights from the UK to Disney with money she earned on Youtube. She has 5000 subscribers. I imagine the bigger ones like Disney Food Blog that have hundreds of thousands of subscribers probably make plenty. But does having that audience base mean you deserve the negativity? I just don't understand the mentality of being mean just because someone has something you wish you had. And it's not behavior that's becoming of you as a human being!
I'm the same way. We had the opposite happen when were lined up for FoF, but I didn't write about it because I felt like I was already in a sour mood at that point about leaving haha. But there was a lady on her phone, and her 3 kids just kept playing with the chain, jumping up and down with it, swinging it etc. It kept bumping into me, and then of course when C went to play with it, and I told her not to, she had to point out that they were. I don't remember exactly what I said, but I know it was a little louder than it should of been and along the lines of "just because someone else does something doesn't mean it's not annoying". I get it, I used to do it as a kid too, so I wasn't annoyed with them. Just to the level they were doing it, because their mother wasn't paying attention at all.How sweet are the kids that are so excited that they are bouncing off the walls!? I don't mind that IF their parents have at least tried to correct them when they bump into people. If the parents are seeing it, but too lazy to even say "I can see you are really excited, but you need to watch where you're walking so you don't bump into people." then I get a bit disgruntled. But it doesn't sound like this is what happened here, it was just genuine excitement, which is adorable. And then it makes it extra special to have a great interaction...it's not fun when you wait for a long time and then the person isn't very good with the kids. So glad your ending was such a happy moment!!
Thank you all around! We definitely lucked out in that we are similar enough, and can pretty much break off in any smaller group and still get along. There are other people who I can think of who that would NOT be the case haha.Loved this TR! I read the whole thing today at work! C is just so adorable and congrats on the newest little Mouseketeer!
I agree that traveling with other people can be tricky, especially if yall have two completely different ways of touring the parks.
I too am very sad to see Illuminations go. I also remember the original Illuminations, as you mentioned. Our family was never really into the fireworks but we always watched the electric parades and Illuminations. I vividly remember being young and sitting between Mexico and Norway, eating churros, waiting for the show to start. Every. Single. Trip (and I've been 30+ times) Now that we're adults, the churros have turned into margaritas and in January, we figured it would be our last chance to see it, so we sat, margaritas in hand, ready to say goodbye. I legit sobbed at the end. Fast forward to just a few weeks ago.. we have a trip planned in September and it was announced Illuminations would have its final show on September 30.... the day we had already planned to be at Epcot. So we will be there again, margaritas and churros on hand for the final showing ever. It worked out perfectly! Glad you were able to see it one last time too