Trip Report It Is What It Is... Our Journey To The Dark Side...Sept 2023

Hey there everyone!

We are back! I have to say, it was a Disney trip that was VERY different from those in the past. I am happy and excited to share it all with you all, as long as you are patient with me. Lol. You know – me -the one that takes 4 plus years to finish up a report!

That being said, I need to take care of some unfinished business before I start this epic tale. If you don’t know what I mean…. Here is the link to September 2019 trip which I am desperately trying to wrap up.


https://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/from-droids-to-toys…-texting-the-boy-and-can-we-just-blame-it-on-captain-hook-our-september-2019-disney-journey-including-another-ross’-return.960569/

Thanks to all of you who helped get me excited for this trip and gave me such good advice and tips for our journey!


Here we go…

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Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
I am here and following along. I can't believe how Hope is she looks so grown up!

I know - my baby grew up!!

I’m in! I hope you were all able to have an enjoyable trip, despite the recent changes!

It was a good trip, but the changes were tough.

Following along

Thank you!! Welcome!

Waahhhooo!!! Let's get this rolling! I can't wait to hear about The Boy and his newfound love of Disney?!?!
Excited Lets Go GIF

Well, you will hear about the boy... :rolleyes:

So glad to see you here and can’t wait to read about your trip! As has been said, Hope got so big! I hope the boy had a great time!

Thanks so much for following along! My baby girls are both so big now!!


Yay!!! It's not a party until @fractal has arrived!!!

Following along!!
Thanks for following!!


So happy that you’re back! Excited to read your trip report, but mildly freaked out that Hope is teenager! Feels like she was still a little girl the last time around.

I am majorly freaked that she is a teenager!!! 🤣 Thanks for following along!!

Oh I'm excited for this! I was shocked to see how tall Hope has gotten!

Thanks so much!!! Yes - she is almost as tall as I am!

I'm here and ready to hear all about your trip when you find the time!!!
So Excited Kermit GIF by MOODMAN

Thanks so much for following! I'm going to try to keep my priorities starght and get this done!! lol

Ben has retired to be a stay-at-home dad, but he’s still pretty active on social media!

Thanks for that info!!

I'm excited to see how you feel after this trip!

I'll leave you guessing for now... Thanks for following!!
 

Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
Monday 9/11/23 Pre-Travel Day

There’s no forgetting that it was 9/11 and all the memories that flood through me each and every Patriot Day. Preparing to fly the following day only adds emotion to a super emotional day…

It started with a crazy day helping Ross and Nick with the routes. Ross had to make a double delivery. If we were going to get on our flight Tuesday morning, we were going to have to go crazy on Monday. And that’s exactly what we did.

Ross had severe doubts that the three of us could get everything done. He was nervous that there would be a late delivery or an issue with his truck (which I have now named the S.S. Mosaic – I know it’s not a steam ship, but I like how it sounds.) So he made me book two separate flights. One on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. So yes – we had two flights booked to Florida!!!

However, we managed through everything and then we were on our way to Newark, NJ around 5PM. Ross did not want to take a chance we would have an issue getting to the airport on time, and since we did have a really early flight - 6:08AM, we booked a night at a park-sleep-fly. We choose a hotel that would allow us to sleep 5 in one room.

We were on our way!

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Once we got settled in at The Kenilworth, no one wanted to venture out for food, so we ordered dinner and had it delivered. Oddly enough, they did not give us any napkins or utensils. They said we did not ask for any??? That being said...the food was really good!

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Ross and I went down to the front desk to see if they had any plastic cutlery to use and to also request some more towels, since there were only a couple in our bathroom. They told us they only had 3 left. Excuse me? Ross and I just looked at each other. Wait… how do you only have 3 towels left in a big old hotel???

There were a few hotels to choose from with the park-sleep-fly and since we used Kenilworth in the past, and it was fine, so I chose it again. They also allowed us to have 5 in one room opposed to the Marriot which required us to book 2 separate rooms, which would have been another $400 charge.

That being said, we told them we would take the 3 towels they had left and they said they would bring them up after they were done in the dryer. Ross and I looked at each other again and shrugged. “It is what it is.” I said. “Let’s go back to the room.” Sure enough, a few moments later they delivered 3 very warm towels to us.

Soon after, we all called it a night, hoping to get a decent night’s sleep for our busy travel day.


However, I lay awake for some time…. All the things that could go wrong swirled around in my head. I finally drifted off, but as I did, my thoughts tormented me…. Would my folks be okay? Would I get that phone call that no child wants to ever get? Would our house be safe? Would the dead tree be in my backyard when we returned? Would Disney be the trip it was in the past? Would Nicolas hate it? Would I hate it? And would Ross be bald enough to get through TSA Pre-Check?
 

lindawdw

Well-Known Member
That's a lot of worrying going on inside your brain! You need a relaxing trip to Disney World. 🤣 That is very strange that a hotel would only have three towels left to offer.:oops: I hope you were able to get some sleep before heading to the airport.
 

Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
That's a lot of worrying going on inside your brain! You need a relaxing trip to Disney World. 🤣 That is very strange that a hotel would only have three towels left to offer.:oops: I hope you were able to get some sleep before heading to the airport.
It was very odd, but yes I did manage a little sleep. I am a worrier by trait. I can't help it!
 

Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
Travel Day Tuesday 9/12

I woke up around 2 AM and started to get ready. Thankfully the three extra towels were enough to get us all showered and ready for the day.

The hotel told us to be at the front desk 15 minutes before we wanted to leave for the airport. Our flight was scheduled to board at 5:30 and we wanted to be there at least an hour before boarding. It took probably about 15 minutes to get to the airport, but we wanted to give more time - just in case. At 3:45 AM we were in the lobby requesting our shuttle.


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That’s when they told us that they don’t do a shuttle anymore. They call a Lyft. I was surprised they didn’t mention it to me when we checked in. But, OK, no problem. They called a Lyft XL to pick up the five of us. It was amazing, because it automatically showed up on my phone. I had no idea it could do that. But to my dismay, our Lyft that was supposed to be at the hotel within 15 minutes got canceled and then the second one got canceled and then a third got canceled. I asked the girl what was going on and she nonchalantly said that sometimes the drivers change their mind!! What?!?! My stomach sank imagining that we could miss our flight. Thankfully, the fourth Lyft make it to us. Although, it didn’t quite fit all of us and Hope had to sit on Ross’s lap in the backseat in order to get us to the airport in time!

When we got to Newark, we checked in our bags at the kiosks, and then stood on line to get them checked in. That’s when I found out one of the perks of being Jet Blue Mosaic is actually having a separate area to do this. The woman scolded me and said we stood on the wrong line! She pointed, “ That’s your area over there.” Ross chuckled and whispered to me, “What were you thinking honey- Standing with the peasants?”

I also noticed that our Bags got green tags. I wasn’t sure what they were for, but I didn’t have time to question it.

We made our way to TSA pre-check, and by now, I was so thankful we had it because we were really pushing the time and Newark, even though it was early, was hopping!. Our flight was going to board in about 30 minutes. When we got to TSA pre-check, there were only a couple people in front of us. We put our bags on the belt and walked through the detectors and waited for a bags to follow. It was great not to take off our shoes or electronics or liquids out of our bags! We waited, and waited. But no bags were coming through!

Apparently, the man’s bag in front of us got stuck going through the machine on the conveyor belt!!! They had to take it out, and re-send it through, and it got stuck again! Finally, they had to remove it, re-set something and then sent all the baggage (ours) that was stuck behind it through.

With 15 minutes to board, we walked quite briskly to our gate.

I really wanted to grab some coffee for me, apple juice for Hope and Julia really wanted a muffin or something, but there was just no time to wait in the line- which was tremendous!! But it is what it is... We had just enough time to use the bathroom (really quickly) and then boarded our flight.

It was kind of cool to have the extra space of the Even More seats! lol
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Nick was ready for his first flight...

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Our flight was great. This was the first time we flew on JetBlue with their new touch screens. There was a TON of movies and shows to watch. It didn’t take me long to find what I wanted to watch….


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Hope also was excited with her choice!
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Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
Since we had free Wi-Fi (Wi-Fly) on the plane, I was hoping I would have lunch getting a VQ for GoG for later today, but unfortunately, it was a no-go; I couldn’t get the Wi-Fly to work. As soon as we landed and I had my data back, I attempted for it, but there were no boarding groups left. So I did something I didn’t think I would do.

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Ross was not thrilled with it.

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Terminal C is beautiful!! Hope wanted to go into the stores but we needed to head out. We found baggage claim no problem. Our bags were the first ones on the belt. Now I realized what that little green tag was for!!

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I had decided that we would all take a Lyft to WDW instead of Mears. This made Ross very nervous. He was afraid that Julia and Nick would get lost and end up somewhere else. So he made me promise that we would get a Lyft all together to the resort from the airport. But after the fiasco getting to Newark, I didn’t want to get one lift for the five of us AND all our luggage. So I convinced him that the way to go is to get one for Julia and Nick and a second for Hope and us. Julia had already downloaded the Lyft on app on her phone so we were good to go. Or so I thought...

I had Julia and Nick request their ride first. Soon the car was on its way. All seemed good. Then I put a request in for me, Hope and Ross. But I got an error message. Long story short, both apps were using the same credit card number and I hadn’t notified my credit card that I was traveling, so it refused my card. I didn’t realize this at the time – I thought the problem was that both accounts were using the same card number. So I just put in a different credit card number for my Lyft and everything was fine. But what I didn’t realize was that Julia and Nicolas‘s Lyft was canceled completely – due to suspicion of fraud!! I quickly fixed the problem and had her request another Lyft. The only problem was by this time, our Lyft had arrived. So as Ross, Hope, and I drove away from MCO, we realized that there was still no Lyft coming for Julia and Nick. The ride to the resort was so tense. All Ross could say was, “I begged you not to let this happen.”

I kept telling him that they were fine and they would make it to Disney World. But he remains nervous until we got the text from Nick that said they were in the Lyft and on the way to the resort.

We made it to POP and Nick and Julia were on the way.

We got settled and got our mugs.

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We had breakfast which wasn’t very good – not even the Mickey waffles.

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We waited for Instacart and got our groceries put away.

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Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
We went to the pool - It was beautiful out, and the pool felt absolutely amazing!

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After we got dried off, we headed towards Epcot. It would be our first ride on the Skyliner. Boy was Hope excited! Our first skyliner ride was awesome - a little warm and stuffy. I would pick it over the bus any day!
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Tiki Traveler

Well-Known Member
Hi! Newer member from Western New York following along! I’ve been reading your 2019 report too. We visited in August 2019 - seems like the good old days now.

I can definitely identify with:
- 9/11 - always every year
- lack of hotel towels - One national hotel posted a sign in the lobby saying there was a towel shortage! Um no, as witnessed by the towels I just saw at your local Target (college move in day) there are plenty of towels in the world. Go buy some.
- We couldn’t get a Lyft/Uber for 4 of us at 7:00pm on a Sunday night in Bay Head, NJ either. They kept cancelling as well.….

Regardless, I always think a day at Disney is better than a great day in the office! You were all together and that‘s what counts! :) Looking forward to more!
 
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Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
Hi! Newer member from Western New York following along! I’ve been reading your 2019 report too. We visited in August 2019 - seems like the good old days now.

I can definitely identify with:
- 9/11 - always every year
- lack of hotel towels - One national hotel posted a sign in the lobby saying there was a towel shortage! Um no, as witnessed by the towels I just saw at your local Target (college move in day) there are plenty of towels in the world. Go buy some.
- We couldn’t get a Lyft/Uber for 4 of us at 7:00pm on a Sunday night in Bay Head, NJ either. They kept cancelling as well.….

Regardless, I always think a day at Disney is better than a great day in the office! You were all together and that‘s what counts! :) Looking forward to more!

Thanks so much for following!!

I agree - ANY day at Disney is better than one at work! lol

I see Julia's hat has made a return!

LOL YES - it made the journey there and back again, and this time - no apple juice accidents!!

We love the skyline too. I love that Hope was so excited and that it lived up to her expectations
We all really enjoyed it. I think it would be a deciding factor in staying at POP for that reason. Even though it went down a few times during our stay, it was fantastic to have.
 

Figment Forever

Premium Member
Original Poster
As we made that skyliner trip over towards EPCOT, Ross and I, (well mainly me) were making a final decision. You see, we knew this would not be our last Disney trip.

Let me explain…This trip was our postponed 2020 trip which was paid for in 2020 and it was a much more costly trip than what we had changed it to. Nick and Julia also ended up paying for their park tickets for this trip and had their own spending money. So by the time we changed our original trip, with Nicolas and Julia pretty much paying their way, and when you take into consideration four years of Disney Visa points that we hadn’t used and numerous gift cards that people had given us as gifts over the past 4 years, we still had a lot of Disney dollars to spend. The only problem was Ross didn’t think he could do a long trip like we were doing. 10 -14 days just didn’t work anymore. He no longer has someone who could run his route while we are away and the worry was too much for him. I actually felt bad about this trip because he did do a lot of worrying about his business while we were away. He said future trips would have to be shorter trips, and that he would actually prefer to come on 2 short trips rather than one long one. Excuse me?? Two short trips? I thought, “Who are you and what have you done with my husband?”

How awesome would it be to visit Disney at a different time of year? I mean don’t get me wrong, Disney in the fall is beautiful, but I would love to see it during a different season. I started to think about visiting at a different time of year, but soon I realized that the cost of tickets would put it out of the question. The tickets get cheaper the longer you stay, so I wasn’t sure we could swing it. Plane tickets? No problem! We had enough points thanks to the S.S. Mosaic (his work truck) to not only have business class status, but we probably could fly back-and-forth to Florida six times at no cost! However, the thought of paying the higher prices for 5 day tickets each time - no way we could swing that.

Now as we were trying to get ready for our trip, I was reading some older trip reports. One in particular from @gwhb75 from several years back. As I was reading, he wrote how his family upgraded their 10-day tickets to an annual pass. Annual pass??? Would it be cheaper? Would that work for us? No way, I thought.

The wheel was in motion. I made some phone calls to Disney and did some math. As crazy as it sounded, this could be an option for us. But I quickly dismissed the lunacy from my brain. What was I thinking? I didn’t even want to go on this trip to begin with and now I was considering getting an annual pass for a year?

As crazy as it was, I threw it out to Ross and we talked about it. Ross was concerned we would lose our free dining credit for this trip, but I called and found out it would not. Then he was certain that we would have to pay full price and not have a credit for what we’ve already paid, but nope, they would deduct the price of our tickets. It would also open up the possibility of getting a room only with a passholder discount. I still tried to push it out of my head telling myself it was crazy then I thought about this…

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and this…


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and this…

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and with that, our journey to the Darkside was complete.

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