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Trip Report How to Break a Disney Curse in Three Easy Steps: 1) Two Chipmunks 2) The Dapper Dans 3) The Best Mom Ever

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well, it finally happened.

I went to Walt Disney World, the place where, for the last three years and last three trips, I:
  • Found out my company was closing, and thus I wouldn’t have a job in a month;
  • Tore my ACL in Hollywood Studios, ended up at the ER, and had to be on crutches and use a scooter for the first time, all while racking up a massive hospital bill I’m still paying off;
  • Got tonsillitis, my dad got the flu, and my mom got a bad cold, so we had to leave four days early on what was supposed to be our “do-over” trip.
(If you want the details about any of these trips, check out my pre-trip report here, where I wrote mini trip reports about these nightmares.)

Would this trip be different? Would my mom and I have fun on our first mother-daughter only trip? Would turning 30 slowly drive me insane? Most importantly, would I finally break my Disney curse??

Stay tuned to find out! *Dun dun dun*

Dun…

Dun…

Ha, just kidding. I really considered leaving you all in suspense about how my trip went, but I’m going to be upfront instead: this trip was probably one of my favorites that I’ve ever taken! Definitely top 3, if not tied for first place! My mom and I had an absolutely incredible time, and I can’t wait to go back with her! And I think she had a lot of fun, too, since this was supposed to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” thing, but since we’ve been home, she’s even said we need to do another trip, just the two of us, again! (Sorry, Dad!)

Here’s a quick refresher for everyone who didn’t read my pre-trip report:

WHO: My mom (Ele) and me (Carrie)

WHEN: April 7-April 13

WHERE: Beach Club Villas

WHY: My 30th Birthday!

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My dad and I are the obsessive Disney lovers in our family. My mom adores the movies, but while she also loves the parks, they’re not the be-all, end-all for her like they are for me and my dad. So I was surprised when she not only didn’t immediately say no when I jokingly asked to go to Disney for my 30th birthday, but instead started asking questions about what the crowds were like and where I’d want to stay. Fast forward through months of waiting and anticipation (and that final trip where we all got sick, which was just this past Dec-Jan), and the day had finally arrived—we were leaving on our first mother-daughter Disney trip!!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 6, SATURDAY: TRAVEL DAY Part 1

Would it really be a trip report from me if there wasn’t some sort of drama involved, after my previous three trips?

Nope.

A few days before we were meant to leave, my nose started to get a little runny and I was feeling a little off. I’d been staying late at work to finish up projects before I’d be away for a week (and I refuse to check work e-mails on vacation—that’s a slippery slope I stay away from!) and I’d also been staying up late getting stuff ready for Disney. Well, I’d apparently worked myself too hard, as I was definitely starting to get sick (or get allergies).

I’m sure you can imagine how utterly devastated I was feeling when I realized this—seriously, after everything, I was going to be sick again on my Disney vacation? So I went HARD with the Zicam (which I know many think relies on placebo effect, but it usually helps me) and tea, and tried to slow it down a little. I also drank a TON of water (I already drink a lot of water every day, but I really went to town, trying to flush any icky-ness out) and used saline nose spray constantly, because I tend to get dry nasal passages due to allergy.

Even with all of my attempts, when I awoke on our travel day, I’d lost my sense of taste. When I get sick, this almost always happens, and it can last for a while. And since eating is one of my favorite things to do in Disney, and we had a lot of special stuff planned, I was not a happy camper. But I kept it up with the Zicam, saline, and water. I also took some cold medicine, because I definitely felt the worst this day. However, spoiler alert: the next day, the day we arrived in Florida, my ability to taste had returned and I started to feel better! Truly a birthday miracle!

Anyway, this day started with my mom, dad, and I all getting up and getting ready to go. My dad was driving my mom and I to the train station (you read that right…train station ;)).

We got new T-shirts for the occasion:

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(Trying to make the best of it, since I still felt pretty sick at this point.)

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(My mom loves football, so when I saw this shirt on shopDisney, it was a no-brainer!)

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(The first of many similar shots to come…)

My mom doesn’t fly. It’s just not a thing she does anymore. There are a lot of reasons, including some really awful flights, and the fact that she also can feel the air pressure in her sinuses and head the whole time. But because of that, we always drive down to Disney, or, when we go in late December, we take the train (which we’ve done twice). The first time we took the train down, we were in coach. It was AWFUL. This past time, in December-January, we had two roomettes (they sleep two). These were better, but still pretty small. And the bed was too small for my mom to turn over on, so she was stuck in one position all night, which hindered her ability to sleep.

An Amtrak Roomette:

Amtrak-Roomette.jpg

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(These are courtesy of Google as I could not find any decent photos from our last trip. The two chairs form the bottom bed and there's a top bunk that pulls down from above.)

So for this trip, we upgraded to a bedroom. It was definitely bigger than the roomette, but still tight.

We were out of the house by about 9:45 a.m. and got to Newark Penn Station around 10:25 (our train was at 11:22 a.m.). My dad dropped my mom and I off, and we navigated our many bags (we are over packers to the max!) into the station to check our “big bag” and find a spot to sit. We soon did, and I went to the Dunkin Donuts right by the seating area to get us our breakfast (Iced Coffee—Cold Brew for Me and a Caramel Latte for mom—and bagels with cream cheese, please!) while we waited for my dad to come in with the final bag. Before I left to get our food, I joked to my mom that he would forget the bag. Sure enough, as I came back with our goodies, my dad arrived…sans bag! After we laughed at him, he went back to get the bag and we had our breakfast. When he got back, bag in tow, we left him with our stuff and went to pick out our lunch (we wanted to eat as little of the “train” food as possible, as my mom was convinced it upset her stomach over Christmas) from Zaro’s. They also have the BEST freshly popped popcorn, but they apparently don’t make it on the weekends, so I was :cry:

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(Waiting for the train that would take us to the most magical place on earth…)

Travel Day Part 2 coming up!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 6, SATURDAY: TRAVEL DAY Part 2

Finally, our track number was announced (it changed at the last minute from what the agent at bag check had told us, which is always stressful) and the escalator was actually working, so we were soon on the platform. No time for pictures when the train pulled in, though, because we were on the wrong end of the train! We hoofed it to the sleeping cars and boarded, hugging my dad one final time and feeling like Harry at the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as we waved at Hagri- I mean, my dad. Our attendant got us situated in our bedroom (her name was Rhonda and she was awesome!) and she also reminded us that there was free coffee, orange juice, and additional water bottles down the hall for us if we wanted.

I took as many pictures as possible of our bedroom (mostly for you @Darstarr !), but it wasn’t easy due to the size of the space and the moving train! Like I said, definitely bigger than the roomette, but still tight. We had seen what I thought was the bedroom on our train over Christmas, but upon reflection, I think it was the “family bedroom,” which is bigger.

20190406_115250.jpg
(Taken from the doorway...)

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(Also from the doorway. There's a mirror above the sink reflecting the other side of the "room.")

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(The nook in front of the bathroom door where there was an additional "jump" seat, but where we ended up stashing most of our luggage.)

20190406_115439.jpg
(The bathroom. It was SUPER small, but still better than the roomette's "bathroom," which was just a toilet next to one of the seats.)

Once we were settled, we talked and joked around for a while (and I attempted awful mirror selfies).

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(Ready for an adventure!)

Travel Day Part 3 (Final Part!) next!
 

carriehpotter

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
APRIL 6, SATURDAY: TRAVEL DAY Part 3 (Final Part)

Then we decided to have our lunch, as those bagels felt like a million years ago. I didn’t take pictures (though I am proud to report that the DD breakfast and this lunch were the only food I forgot to take pictures of!), but I got a crispy chicken breast sandwich with cheese and mom got ham and cheese. I didn’t really taste my sandwich (this was before my miraculous recovery) but the texture was good. Mom liked hers, too.

The rest of the day, we alternated talking, reading, me watching YouTube and Netflix on my iPad (Amtrak has free Wi-Fi, but it’s spotty at best for streaming, so I definitely ate up some data), and taking cat naps. Finally, it was time for dinner. We walked down to the club car together (there are two different trains that travel from NYC to Miami—one has a dining car and one doesn’t. We were on the train that didn’t because the arrival time on Sunday was more to our liking) and picked our food. We didn’t want anything that would upset our stomachs, so we went with an old reliable: Hebrew National hot dogs. We also got a cheese platter to split.

I ate my hot dog before I could take a picture (I was hungry!), so here’s the wrapper:

20190406_202015.jpg
(I did use my cell phone for all pics on this trip, but I stopped taking vertical shots in WDW, I promise!)

And here’s the cheese platter, which I thankfully remembered to photograph before we inhaled it:

20190406_202649.jpg

We’d also gotten two tiny bottles of vodka to make Screwdrivers with our free orange juice, but wouldn’t you know it, when I went to get two glasses, someone had drunk all of it. When Rhonda came by to check on us, my mom commented that we had gotten the vodka for the orange juice, but there was none left. “Well, we can’t have vodka without orange juice!” she said and bustled away. Next thing we knew, she was back with two full glasses of orange juice! Like I said, she was awesome! In the end, we only used one bottle between us (still worried about upset stomachs!) and we put the other one in a bag to take to Disney, figuring we’d drink it there (but wouldn’t you know it—we still haven’t drunk that little vodka!).

Soon, it was time for our beds to be made up. But the problem was, once it was made up, my mom couldn’t get back into the room! So, Rhonda, laughing good naturedly at us, pushed it in enough that we could get in, and showed us how to push it back out. My mom was very happy that this bed was much wider, so she had room to move and roll over. I, however, was pretty darn nervous about my top bunk. The ladder was very narrow, and I have two ACL-less knees and awful balance. But on the trip down to Disney (yes, this is foreshadowing), after the first time up and down the ladder, I felt much more comfortable, and had no trouble.

images.jpg
(I had to steal this from Google, since I forgot to get this pic. You can see how little room there was once the bed was down, though!)

I didn’t sleep a wink. A not super comfortable bed, plus constant motion, plus sleeping in a new place = no sleep for Carrie. Oh yeah, and I was going to be in Disney World the next day…who could possibly sleep? 😉

Next up...arriving at the most magical place on Earth! But first, a cab conundrum!
 

ajrwdwgirl

Well-Known Member
Interesting experience on the train. I actually laughed a little when you said you traveled by train because at work today we had a big discussion about traveling by train, none of us had done it and we all wondered what it was like. I guess I can report back tomorrow with some info! Looking forward to the Disney part of your trip too.
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
APRIL 6, SATURDAY: TRAVEL DAY Part 2

Finally, our track number was announced (it changed at the last minute from what the agent at bag check had told us, which is always stressful) and the escalator was actually working, so we were soon on the platform. No time for pictures when the train pulled in, though, because we were on the wrong end of the train! We hoofed it to the sleeping cars and boarded, hugging my dad one final time and feeling like Harry at the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as we waved at Hagri- I mean, my dad. Our attendant got us situated in our bedroom (her name was Rhonda and she was awesome!) and she also reminded us that there was free coffee, orange juice, and additional water bottles down the hall for us if we wanted.

I took as many pictures as possible of our bedroom (mostly for you @Darstarr !), but it wasn’t easy due to the size of the space and the moving train! Like I said, definitely bigger than the roomette, but still tight. We had seen what I thought was the bedroom on our train over Christmas, but upon reflection, I think it was the “family bedroom,” which is bigger.

View attachment 370091
(Taken from the doorway...)

View attachment 370092
(Also from the doorway. There's a mirror above the sink reflecting the other side of the "room.")

View attachment 370094

View attachment 370096
(The nook in front of the bathroom door where there was an additional "jump" seat, but where we ended up stashing most of our luggage.)

View attachment 370097
(The bathroom. It was SUPER small, but still better than the roomette's "bathroom," which was just a toilet next to one of the seats.)

Once we were settled, we talked and joked around for a while (and I attempted awful mirror selfies).

View attachment 370100

View attachment 370101

View attachment 370102

View attachment 370103
(Ready for an adventure!)

Travel Day Part 3 (Final Part!) next!
Thanks for the pix! It looks awesome! Tell me I could fit my son’s truck on there and I am in!!! (The driving back and forth is killing me!)
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
APRIL 6, SATURDAY: TRAVEL DAY Part 3 (Final Part)

Then we decided to have our lunch, as those bagels felt like a million years ago. I didn’t take pictures (though I am proud to report that the DD breakfast and this lunch were the only food I forgot to take pictures of!), but I got a crispy chicken breast sandwich with cheese and mom got ham and cheese. I didn’t really taste my sandwich (this was before my miraculous recovery) but the texture was good. Mom liked hers, too.

The rest of the day, we alternated talking, reading, me watching YouTube and Netflix on my iPad (Amtrak has free Wi-Fi, but it’s spotty at best for streaming, so I definitely ate up some data), and taking cat naps. Finally, it was time for dinner. We walked down to the club car together (there are two different trains that travel from NYC to Miami—one has a dining car and one doesn’t. We were on the train that didn’t because the arrival time on Sunday was more to our liking) and picked our food. We didn’t want anything that would upset our stomachs, so we went with an old reliable: Hebrew National hot dogs. We also got a cheese platter to split.

I ate my hot dog before I could take a picture (I was hungry!), so here’s the wrapper:

View attachment 370104
(I did use my cell phone for all pics on this trip, but I stopped taking vertical shots in WDW, I promise!)

And here’s the cheese platter, which I thankfully remembered to photograph before we inhaled it:

View attachment 370105

We’d also gotten two tiny bottles of vodka to make Screwdrivers with our free orange juice, but wouldn’t you know it, when I went to get two glasses, someone had drunk all of it. When Rhonda came by to check on us, my mom commented that we had gotten the vodka for the orange juice, but there was none left. “Well, we can’t have vodka without orange juice!” she said and bustled away. Next thing we knew, she was back with two full glasses of orange juice! Like I said, she was awesome! In the end, we only used one bottle between us (still worried about upset stomachs!) and we put the other one in a bag to take to Disney, figuring we’d drink it there (but wouldn’t you know it—we still haven’t drunk that little vodka!).

Soon, it was time for our beds to be made up. But the problem was, once it was made up, my mom couldn’t get back into the room! So, Rhonda, laughing good naturedly at us, pushed it in enough that we could get in, and showed us how to push it back out. My mom was very happy that this bed was much wider, so she had room to move and roll over. I, however, was pretty darn nervous about my top bunk. The ladder was very narrow, and I have two ACL-less knees and awful balance. But on the trip down to Disney (yes, this is foreshadowing), after the first time up and down the ladder, I felt much more comfortable, and had no trouble.

View attachment 370106
(I had to steal this from Google, since I forgot to get this pic. You can see how little room there was once the bed was down, though!)

I didn’t sleep a wink. A not super comfortable bed, plus constant motion, plus sleeping in a new place = no sleep for Carrie. Oh yeah, and I was going to be in Disney World the next day…who could possibly sleep? 😉

Next up...arriving at the most magical place on Earth! But first, a cab conundrum!
It does look tight with the beds made!
On the plus side, you can brush your teeth from bed!
 

Kiwiduck

Well-Known Member
Great report so far and glad to hear that it went without major incident. I liked hearing about your train journey, I once travelled from Los Angeles to New Orleans by train for two days and I loved it! Is it a scenic trip?
 
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