Trip Report It's been so long... A belated September 2017 TR

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
With our April trip delayed, and needing a bit of escape, I figured I would post a belated report of our daughter C's first trip back in 2017!

First a little background - I grew up going to Disney every other, if not every, year with my family. While my folks have tons of photo albums filled, I've got one photo from back in the early 90s when characters themed to the countries used to wander WS.

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When I was in HS, we rather abruptly stopped, due to my sister graduating college, me heading off to college, and also being in the post-9/11 world (being in NY it affected my parents rather strongly). I never really thought I was too old for Disney, but just never really thought of going back.

Flash forward 14 years later, and a co-worker of mine went multiple times a year, and we started talking about it during off times. This peaked my interest and I started doing more and more research, and when I found out kids under 3 were free, and that the free dining promotion was coming up, I knew we had to book. After some waffling with dates, we booked for 9/20 - 9/27, at All Star Music!

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As for the title - it not only speaks to this being such a delayed report and how long I went without a trip before this, but in the case there are any other Hoyas out there, speaks to mine and K's college fight song!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Day T-2

Do trips ever start off easily? Ours always seem to come with a bit of drama, but this one took the cake. This will be wordy, and I apologize, but it is quite the story...

Two days before we were set to leave, we had the majority of our bags packed, and were overall feeling good. After C got to bed, we signed in on United to check in, and that is when we noticed that our supposed to be 6:30 am flight, was moved to 2:30 pm.


Thinking it must be an error, we reloaded the page over and over a few times, and then noticed the 6:30 am flight was no more. We called United, and found out a few things -
Our flight was cancelled
They supposedly called us
The 2:30 was the earliest non-connecting flight
They set up airports in pairs. So we could fly out of Newark as planned or LaGuardia. LaGuardia had a connecting flight earlier, but would only get us there about a half hour earlier. There was a 6 am flight out of Philly, but they wouldn't switch us to it.
Since it was about 9:30 pm, no managers were working, so we had to wait til the morning if we wanted any further info.

To say we were livid is an understatement. We scoured our phones to look for missed calls and came up with nothing.


The next day 8 am rolled around, and we got immediately on the phone after dropping C off at school. Luckily my boss was ok with me coming in a bit late to sort this all out. After quite a bit of a hold, we spoke with a manager who told us the same thing. They could get us in that night, but we would have to pay out of pocket for the hotel, and the flight was more expensive and United may or may not cover the charge.

Being one who doesn't back down, K wanted to get confirmation about the call they supposedly made to us. They claimed to have called me, which is odd because the reservation was in K's name. After a bit more questioning as to why, and exactly when this happened, we were put back on hold.

After what felt like an eternity, and me looking up new fastpasses to make up for the ones on the first day, the manager came on the phone, and quickly asked "So that Philly flight, you want it?"


Apparently the airport pairs are set up in their computers, and he was able to get someone in IT to override the system for us. Now, this would mean we would have to get to Philly, which is 2 hours away from us, by 4 am. But the moment K mouthed to me "what do you want to do" and I saw the hope in her eyes after 12 hours of constant stress, I knew that was the answer.

With the biggest hurdle crossed, I sped off to work and we devised a plan -
I would pick up a rental car on my way home from work, while also stopping to get a Dunkin Americano to help me in the morning with the drive. We'd leave at 2, drop the car off at the airport, and be on our way. Meanwhile praying that C would fall back asleep in the car.

So how did it work out?
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1

The night before we were talking about just not going to sleep, but I knew if I had to drive, I needed something. Of course we planned on all going to bed early, but that didn't happen. Our alarms were set for a bit after 1, and man did that come fast. But we were going to Disney, and that kicked our butts out of bed faster than on a workday!

We got ready quick and finished packing up the stuff we needed that morning, and then woke up C.

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Think she was excited? (Not gonna lie, we were worried how she would react to waking up so early. At this time if her sleep got disrupted too early, she would just be angry, but this morning the Disney magic hit her too!)

While K got her ready, I packed up her essentials she needs every night and got the car loaded. I remember it was just after 2 that we left and I was feeling good! Tired, but good!

About 20 minutes in, C fell asleep. Soon after K fell asleep. Which was fine by me, as I could then find a nice 90s/alternative station to keep me awake. Soon enough we drove on some weird side roads, complete with deer (I was very happy for that coffee at this time for keeping me alert), and soon enough saw the Philly skyline.

We got to the gas station I believe a couple minutes after 4. Philly offered curbside check in, even at this time, and because we were worried about the timing of the shuttle, I dropped K, C and our bags off. Pretty much our logic was that it would be easier for me to run through the airport on my own if necessary, or to find a single seat on a later plane if it really came down to it. Once I saw they were ok, I went off to the rental car lot, dropped it off, and hopped right on the shuttle. K was getting a bit worried seeing the security line get longer, so she jumped in with C just before I got to the terminal. After a fairly painless security line, we made it over to our section and grabbed something to eat. Soon enough we were on our way!

We were hoping for C to sleep, but she opted to just rest instead. Luckily the flight was fairly smooth if I recall, and soon enough we were there.

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I cannot explain how good it felt to get on the ME that morning. After all the stress of the last few days, being up since 1, driving in the pitch black and then the general stress of flying, it felt so good to just be in Disney's hands!

We never even thought that getting to the hotel around 10 am our room would be ready, but lo and behold, as we pulled in, we got our room ready text! But, knowing when C saw the pool she would want to go in, we decided to freshen up in the lobby restrooms, drop off our one bag, and head right to MK!

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Funny story - we may have shown this picture to family as her reaction to when she first met Mickey. The truth? It was when I came out of the bathroom lol.

We were very soon greeted by a pretty empty bus, and on our way to our first park day!

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When on the bus, we pointed out the first time C could see the castle, and her eyes lit up just like we were hoping. We watched some videos before going, so she knew the castle really meant we were here.

After a very quick time through security and scanning our bands for the first time (including C, even though hers did nothing), we were soon welcomed by the sights (and smells!) of Main Street USA!

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Of course we needed a PP of the occasion!

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C was clearly feeling very shy, so how would she do meeting characters for the first time? We'd soon find out as our first FP was meeting the main mouse himself!
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
But we were going to Disney, and that kicked our butts out of bed faster than on a workday!
This is my reason for early flights to Disney, too! :joyfull:

Thank you for writing a long-awaited report!! So sorry about your struggles with United! It's amazing how these huge companies can say they informed us about cancellations but then completely be lying. What an incredible drive for you to Philly but I'm so happy you all made it and that C was a good sport about an early wake-up call!

LOVE the headfake you pulled on family with C's picture!
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
So sorry your plans are being disrupted, but yay for this belated trip report! It'll help us get through the day :) love reading kid's first trip reports.

Also super weird observation, but is that a Davinci Kalani crib?? If it is, we have the same and I can't wait to convert it! So cute!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Love the picture of you as a kid to start off the TR. And C is so adorable in her first day pictures 😀
Thank you!

You clearly won Father of the Year 2017!
Haha, I appreciate it, but far from it!

YAY! Thank you for deciding to write this report! I am ALL in!
You're quite welcome! And thank you for following along!

This is my reason for early flights to Disney, too! :joyfull:

Thank you for writing a long-awaited report!! So sorry about your struggles with United! It's amazing how these huge companies can say they informed us about cancellations but then completely be lying. What an incredible drive for you to Philly but I'm so happy you all made it and that C was a good sport about an early wake-up call!

LOVE the headfake you pulled on family with C's picture!
It's funny, now to try to get myself up earlier for work, I tell myself I'm training my body to be up early for Disney! Still doesn't really work though lol

It's also funny that after those issues, I swore I'd never fly United again. Yet, I keep going back to them because they're the main airline out of the nearest airport.

So sorry your plans are being disrupted, but yay for this belated trip report! It'll help us get through the day :) love reading kid's first trip reports.

Also super weird observation, but is that a Davinci Kalani crib?? If it is, we have the same and I can't wait to convert it! So cute!
Thank you! I've been thinking of writing it before, but now seemed like a good time!

And yes, it actually is! We converted it now to the full size, which I will say at first didn't seem super sturdy. But 2 years in with it, and it's held up perfectly (including many jumps on it), so I think it was just outside of my comfort zone.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1 Cont.

We had actually arrived at MK quite a bit earlier than planned, so we decided to take in the atmosphere a bit and take our time.

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Two things we quickly observed -

It was HOT. Low to mid-90s the entire trip.
C did not like being in stores. We escaped the heat to go into the Emporium, and even after trying to bribe her with toys, she just wanted to go back into the sweltering heat.

Luckily, with the way the Emporium is set up, we could zig zag in and out of the store, so that by the time she got inpatient, we'd be outside for a bit, and then pop back in.

When we were inside, we heard the music from Mouske-whatever it was called in 2017 playing, so we went back outside to see none other than Nick and Judy!

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It might be an unpopular choice for a kid's first Disney movie, but this actually was the first movie C saw in full. Pretty much it was a combination of her being too young to sit enthralled in a movie so we put it on thinking we would like it (which we did!), and also that it was on Netflix when we first subscribed.

But she recognized them, and that helped to make it more special.

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After the parade, we made our way further towards the hub, where the Friendship Faire was about to happen.

Unfortunately, right when we got to the hub, we saw an elderly gentleman with a walker misjudge the curb, and take a very nasty spill. Kristen, being a PT, went over to him to see if he was ok. He was bleeding a bit and was insisting he was ok, but K was worried he may have a slight concussion, so she sat with him and his wife until a CM came.

Meanwhile, I pulled to the side and popped C up on my shoulders (after making sure no one was behind me) to watch the show. As it was ending, it took me a few minutes to place the sound I heard, but apparently C was crying pretty hard on my shoulders. I didn't even think about it, but the fireworks had scared her! My bad! (Not so father of the year material any more lol @Darstarr )

She calmed pretty quick, and I brought her over to the Casey's statue to get in the shade while finishing waiting for K. Not much later she came over with an anytime fastpass in hand to thank her for helping out! (Spoiler - we never used it!)

At this point, it was nearing our FP window, so we headed back up to the front to meet Mickey!

The line was fairly quick, and C was nervously excited to meet Mickey!

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I cannot believe how young she looks in this picture! It feels like yesterday, but now she's in the other room learning about the lifecycle of flowers as we attempt to homeschool a bit.

When she first saw Mickey, she was very happy, but still a bit unsure. (Her nervous habit has always been to put a finger in her mouth, which on this trip was a source of frustration as we were worried about germs. Now, it seems even more worrisome, but luckily it has mostly stopped)

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Finally the moment!

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And she was even more nervous!

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She at least did manage to look over to him, and after we left was super excited she had met him. I think in the time, it was just a bit too much for her to handle. And I'm sure the lack of sleep was also an issue too.

Also, a bad effect of me doing this now is I realize how young I look in this pictures! My dad has said that he lost his hair after my sister was born, and now two kids in - I agree that kids can age you quickly!

After walking around the gift shop a bit. Apparently we took the train.

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In the years since, K and I have discussed this picture many times as we have no recollection of going on the train the first day. But the time stamp puts it here, so we apparently went on after Mickey. I'm thinking we did a full loop around, since we had time, and originally planned to enjoy Main Street at this time, but already did.
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1 Cont.

We either got off at Main Street or Fantasyland. I'll admit, being 2.5 years ago there will be moments where I somewhat am guessing on what we did, especially if there are no pictures! (I wasn't aware of TR's back then, my bad!)

But I know we headed over to Pinnochio's for lunch. We each got some pizza, and I believe C though wasn't in the mood to eat, and just snacked a bit throughout this day. It was crowded, food was ok, but it was nice to sit.

When we went outside, K took C to the restroom. While I was waiting, I saw an encounter that I feel bad for remembering because of how funny I found it at the time. A family was trying to get in to Pinnochio's, but attempted the exit doors. There were no handles on the outside of the exit doors, so even though there was a big sign saying "Exit" this family was dedicated to getting in these doors. They tried pushing them, they tried scratching at them, the dad and then the mom tried sticking their fingers in the little crack to pry them open. And then walked away perplexed as to how they couldn't get in. I know, I'm a bad person for laughing. And for not pointing them the right way. But there was a big sign right there!

After Pinnochio's, we headed over to New Fantasyland, which was completely new to us on this trip.
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We figured maybe C would do better with a face character, especially who was her favorite at that time - Ariel!

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Nope! She was actually even more shy this time around.

So characters seemed to be a bust, what about rides? We headed right next door to go on the Undersea Adventure.

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I know some people don't love it, but I have to admit the part where you "go underwater" impressed us the first time. Maybe because it was our first true Disney ride in a decade?

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We didn't get a picture, but C waved to Ariel and Eric, all on her own @Tuvalu (Before we even knew it was a "thing"!)

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This though C really enjoyed - so it looked like this would be a more ride trip, than a character one.

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We were thinking about leaving at this point, but we were all still going pretty strong, so we headed to the Tea Cups next.

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Always so much fun! (Although in the last 3 years I've noticed spinning rides are starting to get to me). Also atthis point C was starting to get tired, as I can see she had her blanket out.

So again, we were going to head out, but then C then saw the carousel, and was super excited, so we took a spin.

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She refused to ride without one of us holding on to her back though.

There's a half hour break in my photos, so I believe this was when we popped into Philharmagic to get out of the heat before heading down Main Street. This was a HUGE mistake. One that K still rips me on, as it was my suggestion.

Turns out what I enjoyed as a teenager, is scary for a 3 year old. The dark and loud sounds were just too much, and she was pretty much in tears the whole time. My bad. :cautious:

At this point, it was definitely time to leave, so we headed back through the castle to call it a day.

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slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
It's also funny that after those issues, I swore I'd never fly United again. Yet, I keep going back to them because they're the main airline out of the nearest airport.
We are so lucky Southwest is out of our nearest airport! Although, they've cut down drastically on the number of non-stops to Orlando (even before COVID-19).

It was HOT. Low to mid-90s the entire trip
What time of year did you go?

Not much later she came over with an anytime fastpass in hand to thank her for helping out! (Spoiler - we never used it!)
That was really nice of K to help and very sweet of the CM for the FP!

We didn't get a picture, but C waved to Ariel and Eric, all on her own @Tuvalu (Before we even knew it was a "thing"!)
Awwwwwwwwwwwwww <3 <3 <3 Disney magic at its best!
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We are so lucky Southwest is out of our nearest airport! Although, they've cut down drastically on the number of non-stops to Orlando (even before COVID-19).



What time of year did you go?



That was really nice of K to help and very sweet of the CM for the FP!



Awwwwwwwwwwwwww <3 <3 <3 Disney magic at its best!
This was the 3rd week of September. I think it was forecasted to be upper 80s, but the jump into the 90s seems to have made it a ton worse! I think the humidity might have been extra high because a hurricane had gone through the week before
 

Spash007

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 1 Cont.

As we were getting back on to Main Street, we checked and C and she was completely passed out! I'd say this was a successful first park day, even if it was only a few hours.

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As it was sweltering, and the kid was sleeping, K made the suggestion to stop in Starbucks. I'm in the camp of Starbucks shouldn't have replaced the bakery, but this sounded perfect. The line was long, but it was in air conditioning, so that was fine by us.

After getting our drinks, we made it out of the park and to the bus.

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Why yes, we will see you real soon! Tomorrow actually!

We headed back to the Rock section of ASM for our first look at the room, and unpack a bit. Since C already took a good nap, we headed down to the nearest pool for a bit of a swim.

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C loved the statue of Ariel with the guitar.

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After a much needed cool swim, we showered and got dressed for dinner. Nothing special was planned for tonight, as we just headed to the food court. I remember at this time having that first relaxed vacation feeling. No rush, the weather had cooled a bit, and we were just enjoying ourselves. I don't remember what we had, but it might have been a bacon cheeseburger.

After dinner, we stopped by the arcade for a bit, which C enjoyed more than I would've expected. Eventually we had to head to bed, as we had planned to get to sleep early. It was the case for K and I, but C was on par for a bit of a late bed time.

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The walk back though to the room was gorgeous! After we got back to the room, we all fell asleep rather quickly!
 

slipperalwaysfits

Well-Known Member
We headed back to the Rock section of ASM for our first look at the room, and unpack a bit. Since C already took a good nap, we headed down to the nearest pool for a bit of a swim.
WE LOVE ASM! Good for you guys for getting C tired out and able to take a nap at the perfect time (the transition back to the room!)

The walk back though to the room was gorgeous! After we got back to the room, we all fell asleep rather quickly!
So many people look down on the value resorts but they really did a nice job making you feel like you were "away" and in a different world. We've stayed in Calypso many times and love how close it is to everything!!
 
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