Pre-Trip The Trip I've (literally) labored for...

Jambo! As a lifelong Disney fanatic (this will be trip ~57 to WDW, plus 1 incredible trip to DLP for my 30th birthday, and a trip to DL when I was 6 months old) I have dreamed of the day when I would be able to stroll into the Magic Kingdom with my own child.

Fast forward to August 29, 2019, .after refusing to come on his own...a slooowww induction process…. Being stuck and eventually evicted via c-section, our son Harrison James Montague was born weighing in at 9lbs 6oz. And 22” long exactly on my due date! The first two things I scheduled during pregnancy were 1) an induction on my due date, as my doc said I didn’t need to go a day past due if I didn’t want to (I sure as *BLEEP* was not being preggo a day longer than necessary) and 2) a trip to WDW for his first birthday and his very first haircut scheduled at Harmony Barber Shop for 9AM on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Blissfully unaware of COVID-19 I was at the time, obviously. But let’s start with intros:


Cast of Characters
kristeenmarie-photo-mile-3003.jpg

Me (Megan) - 33 year old from Indianapolis, Indiana. I graduated from Michigan State (GO GREEN!!), am a huge Spartan fan, and work as a fundraising executive in the nonprofit sector. I am often described as loving wine, dogs and Disney. I also enjoy staying active via my Peloton.
Lifelong mostly annual Disney traveler. 2019 is the first calendar year in my life I didn’t set foot in Disney park, but whoa pregnancy and taking on a new job and compromising with my dearest husband who gives into my wishes 99% of the time won out. . Longtime WDW magic lurker, first time trip reporter.

James - My sweet husband. LOVES to travel….but is ‘meh’ on Disney. Works hard, plays harder. Is a consultant by day. He’s also the brain of our real estate investment/rental operation. He loves negotiating deals and funny enough admitted he’s been keeping a close eye on the DVC resale market. We’ve been together only twice to WDW. He’s what I would describe as a compliant participant when it comes to Disney. We’ve discussed often and he’s stated he’d be willing to go every other year perhaps. He prefers international travel and adventurous domestic travel. I prefer both AND Disney too but DH is also much more financially responsible than me. He does a surprise trip every year for me and for my 30th birthday/several months before our wedding, surprised me with a week trip to Paris to buy my wedding shoes, explore and also worked in a 3 day stay at DLP. We also have a trip booked (COVID-willing) for Japan in March 2021 that includes Tokyo Disney!
So, while Disney is just not quite his thing, I’m hoping this trip flips the switch for him as he’s a very active and engaged dad who adores our son.

Harrison - Almost 1 year old. Has a larger than life personality, absolutely zero fear of anything, and is almost walking. Loves food, Buzz Lightyear, and is known (by other less biased folks than his own parents) as the happiest kid you’ll ever meet. I think he knew in utero that I’d booked him a haircut because he was born with a TON of hair and has a literal mop going right now that is even worse since these photos were taking over a month ago!
funny harrison.jpg

disney harrison.jpg

So, the 3 of us are all super active, adventurous, and fearless!

Other characters include:
Jake - my mid-20s BIL. Works in software sales and while in Indy on rotation as part of a management training program, lived with us for 3 month before Harrison was born and up until he was 6 months old. Moved to Jacksonville, FL for work right before COVID hit. We all love Jake!

Abbie - my late 20s SIL who quite frankly is a walking dumpster fire. We aren’t particularly close. Lives with my ILs in Cincinnati, along with my 18 month old niece Hazel who will also be meeting up with us at the tail end on this trip.

UP NEXT: Plan A! And then Plan B! And then Plan C!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
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Can't wait to read all about it! Your son is absolutely adorable! And your description of your SIL...I literally laughed out loud. 😂
 

MonorailMegan

Member
Original Poster
I’m wordy, y’all. Sorry not sorry! 🤪

Plan A: Kumbaya at the beach!

But first, Sidestory: The Dumpster Fire!!
(Disclaimer: Absolutely no shame in anyone else’s life choices! Everyone’s life path is beautiful and amazing in its own way!)

If there is bad luck to be had, Abbie has had it. How many people have you met that have broken their back in a sledding accident at 13 *and* also had every pregnancy complication known to man? :oops: To make matters worse, If there is a decision to be made, and the choices are either an optimal, rational choice OR the worst choice humanly possible, Abbie has literally always chosen the latter. And then usually tried to lie her way out of it. :banghead:
And trust me, she has made some really, really bad decisions.
TLDR: she’s let her life choices place a burden on my in-laws, who are also total enablers. Oh and did I mention that Abbie and my in-laws’ favorite past time is bickering? 😖 This has all led to Abbie and I not being all that close and things being super hit or miss between my mother in law and I. DH says my MIL has some sort of misplaced feelings of angst wishing that Abbie could be less dumpster fire-y like me and Abbie’s choices preventing her from being as active of a MIL and grandmother with me and Harrison. So, from here on out we shall refer to Abbie as SILDF (sister in law dumpster fire)
dumpster-2020_800x.jpg



Back on track - so my MIL *loves* the beach, which is ironic because my husband is the worst person to take a beach vacation with, because sitting still is not his thing. So back in the summer of 2019 when my BIL (Jake who we love! Yay Jake!) was assigned to his new territory for work and set to move to Jacksonville, Florida in the spring of 2020, she was PUMPED.

She wanted us all to be together, DH, me, Harrison, Jake, my FIL, my SILDF, my niece, my niece’s father, and her. She was planning that we all rent out a house on the beach near JAX. Whoohoo! I had a little trepidation about sharing a space with that many people but the houses we were looking at had plenty of space to spread out and were reasonably affordable.

All set right? WRONG.

Enter Plan B:
MIL decided the moment that my BIL bought a 3 bedroom condo that's a 20 minutes drive from the beach, that we didn’t need to rent a house and instead could all pack in there like sardines. 9 people in 1200 sq. ft. (I'm from the Midwest...I'm used to SPACE)
NOWHERE NEAR THE BEACH.
With the bickering trio.
YIKES.

I think James could really sense my hesitation now, and he very conveniently had a great idea that we should kick off the trip with our then un-born son in WDW before meeting up with the rest of the fam in JAX and so HECK YES COMPROMISE we booked as follows:

Monday, August 31st - Fly into MCO and check into AKL- Kidani Villas renting DVC points “to try out the DVC thing and see if we like it” (He is pouring the bribery honey on THICK this time!)
Tuesday, September 1st - MK and Baby’s 1st Haircut
Wednesday, September 2nd - AK
Thursday, September 3rd - EPCOT, allllll the F&W Festival goodness
Friday, September 4th - HS and lovely Jake is going to drive over after work from JAX to spend the night, do the park with us the next day
Saturday, September 5th - A fun day with Uncle Jake - MK, Breakfast at Crystal Palace, and then driving back to JAX to continue the vacation fun for 6 more days with the rest of the family.
Friday, September 11th - fly back home to Indy from JAX

LOVE IT!! EVERYONE IS HAPPY!!


UP NEXT: THAT DARN CORONAVIRUS AND LITERAL BROKEN HEARTS
 

fractal

Premium Member
I’m wordy, y’all. Sorry not sorry! 🤪

Plan A: Kumbaya at the beach!

But first, Sidestory: The Dumpster Fire!!
(Disclaimer: Absolutely no shame in anyone else’s life choices! Everyone’s life path is beautiful and amazing in its own way!)

If there is bad luck to be had, Abbie has had it. How many people have you met that have broken their back in a sledding accident at 13 *and* also had every pregnancy complication known to man? :oops: To make matters worse, If there is a decision to be made, and the choices are either an optimal, rational choice OR the worst choice humanly possible, Abbie has literally always chosen the latter. And then usually tried to lie her way out of it. :banghead:
And trust me, she has made some really, really bad decisions.
TLDR: she’s let her life choices place a burden on my in-laws, who are also total enablers. Oh and did I mention that Abbie and my in-laws’ favorite past time is bickering? 😖 This has all led to Abbie and I not being all that close and things being super hit or miss between my mother in law and I. DH says my MIL has some sort of misplaced feelings of angst wishing that Abbie could be less dumpster fire-y like me and Abbie’s choices preventing her from being as active of a MIL and grandmother with me and Harrison. So, from here on out we shall refer to Abbie as SILDF (sister in law dumpster fire)
View attachment 492069



Back on track - so my MIL *loves* the beach, which is ironic because my husband is the worst person to take a beach vacation with, because sitting still is not his thing. So back in the summer of 2019 when my BIL (Jake who we love! Yay Jake!) was assigned to his new territory for work and set to move to Jacksonville, Florida in the spring of 2020, she was PUMPED.

She wanted us all to be together, DH, me, Harrison, Jake, my FIL, my SILDF, my niece, my niece’s father, and her. She was planning that we all rent out a house on the beach near JAX. Whoohoo! I had a little trepidation about sharing a space with that many people but the houses we were looking at had plenty of space to spread out and were reasonably affordable.

All set right? WRONG.

Enter Plan B:
MIL decided the moment that my BIL bought a 3 bedroom condo that's a 20 minutes drive from the beach, that we didn’t need to rent a house and instead could all pack in there like sardines. 9 people in 1200 sq. ft. (I'm from the Midwest...I'm used to SPACE)
NOWHERE NEAR THE BEACH.
With the bickering trio.
YIKES.

I think James could really sense my hesitation now, and he very conveniently had a great idea that we should kick off the trip with our then un-born son in WDW before meeting up with the rest of the fam in JAX and so HECK YES COMPROMISE we booked as follows:

Monday, August 31st - Fly into MCO and check into AKL- Kidani Villas renting DVC points “to try out the DVC thing and see if we like it” (He is pouring the bribery honey on THICK this time!)
Tuesday, September 1st - MK and Baby’s 1st Haircut
Wednesday, September 2nd - AK
Thursday, September 3rd - EPCOT, allllll the F&W Festival goodness
Friday, September 4th - HS and lovely Jake is going to drive over after work from JAX to spend the night, do the park with us the next day
Saturday, September 5th - A fun day with Uncle Jake - MK, Breakfast at Crystal Palace, and then driving back to JAX to continue the vacation fun for 6 more days with the rest of the family.
Friday, September 11th - fly back home to Indy from JAX

LOVE IT!! EVERYONE IS HAPPY!!


UP NEXT: THAT DARN CORONAVIRUS AND LITERAL BROKEN HEARTS

Jeez - wishing Abbie a lot of pixie dust.
 

MonorailMegan

Member
Original Poster
OK so EPIC failure on my part trying to do a trip report semi-live-ish.....

Lesson Learned: The road to you-know-where and the road to taking a very active one year old to WDW (in the midst of a global pandemic, after taking on a new role at work) are both coincidentally paved with good intentions. 🤪

MAJOR trip reportage coming at ya today!! OH and we just closed a REAL ESTATE transaction so hold on to your hats and glasses folks, cuz this here's the (second) wildest ride in the Wilderness!!

**There are so many puns/inside jokes with myself built in above. EEK I AM SO EXCITED TO SHARE!!**
 

MonorailMegan

Member
Original Poster
So where were we? Oh yes, THAT DAMN CORONAVIRUS AND LITERAL BROKEN HEARTS. :jawdrop:

Fast forward to March 2020.**ENTER COVID**
Well, sh*t. To give a tldr you all sadly familiar with, WDW and the rest of the world closes. I spend multiple months in emotional anguish for many reasons, chief among them being the new uncertainty surrounding the trip with my son I’d been dying to take. Cue small relief in June when WDW confirms they are indeed reopening and our trip can continue with some normalcy. Admittedly, I did sob in early July when I got the cancellation notice for Harrison’s 1st Haircut at Harmony Babershop.. BUT Plan B is still on!!

SO another sidestory…. I am not sorry for being verbose.
If there were a runner up for the title dumpster fire, FIL would be it. Although rough around the edge, I really do love him. He, by his own admission, takes terrible care of himself. The family owns a landscaping company and garden center so he’s been doing hard work all day everyday for 30+ years. He actually had a bad work accident when Harrison was only 2 weeks old and *literally* died twice. So let’s fast forward to August 7, 2020. We get a phone call from my MIL that his internal defibrillator keeps going off and he’s in the ER having the 7th heart-related event in the last 5 years. Ugh.
He needs quadruple bypass surgery which he had before we left. Despite many stern lectures from medical professionals, he ignores all directives to change his diet and lifestyle. So, no one is remotely surprised. Surgery went well, he’s home and is already attempting to ignore medical restriction around not driving or lifting anything more than 5 lbs.
Obviously, this means the beach portion of Plan B is now cancelled. However, DH and I are locked in with WDW. PLAN C IT IS!!

We call Southwest and a delightful agent helps us change our homeward bound flight from JAX to MCO. It is kind of a nightmare to make flight changes right now, and we did NOT want to fly out at 6AM (with a Magical Express hotel departure time of 3AM) with a one year old, which the fine folks at Southwest thankfully understood.

SO DH agrees to extend the trip to depart Monday, September 8th instead. Remember we are renting points and DH is a very budget-conscious individual, so I frantically message DVC point rental folks and finally score a reservation for the 2 extra nights at Saratoga Springs. We (read: I) wanted to spend some of the last days there at Disney Springs doing some souv shopping so this works out well. Uncle Jake (YAY UNCLE JAKE!) is still coming to meet us for MK on the last Saturday of the trip. Whoo!

Then….my MIL calls DH sobbing and yelling that we have abandoned the family. 🤷‍♀️ I’ll spare you most of the awkward family dramatics but TLDR; she invites SILDF on our vacation. DH says umm, this was a special trip just the three of us? So she reinvites her to the end of it anyway. SILDF initially declines as it just isn’t in the budget for her. MIL freaks out, tells DH that it isn’t fair that (heaven forbid, we work hard and plan and save for) Harrison has nice things that my neice doesn’t have, tried to book SILDF a room at AKL with us, realized how expensive cash price is at AKL, called DH and yelled at us for staying at such an expensive hotel (yay for rented DVC points being way cheaper than rack rates!), and books SILDF a room at the Caribbean Beach for Friday night before we all head to MK on Saturday. I was being a little bratty and was salty that she was crashing out vacay and our day with Uncle Jake (YAY UNCLE JAKE!) and worst of all was having something handed to her that we worked for. DH gives me a proverbial swift kick in the pants and reminds me we are going on my dream trip and reminds me I’m uniquely the *best* person to go to WDW with especially for my niece and neice’s father who have never been. So on to Plan C.1!
 

Darstarr

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
So where were we? Oh yes, THAT DAMN CORONAVIRUS AND LITERAL BROKEN HEARTS. :jawdrop:

Fast forward to March 2020.**ENTER COVID**
Well, sh*t. To give a tldr you all sadly familiar with, WDW and the rest of the world closes. I spend multiple months in emotional anguish for many reasons, chief among them being the new uncertainty surrounding the trip with my son I’d been dying to take. Cue small relief in June when WDW confirms they are indeed reopening and our trip can continue with some normalcy. Admittedly, I did sob in early July when I got the cancellation notice for Harrison’s 1st Haircut at Harmony Babershop.. BUT Plan B is still on!!

SO another sidestory…. I am not sorry for being verbose.
If there were a runner up for the title dumpster fire, FIL would be it. Although rough around the edge, I really do love him. He, by his own admission, takes terrible care of himself. The family owns a landscaping company and garden center so he’s been doing hard work all day everyday for 30+ years. He actually had a bad work accident when Harrison was only 2 weeks old and *literally* died twice. So let’s fast forward to August 7, 2020. We get a phone call from my MIL that his internal defibrillator keeps going off and he’s in the ER having the 7th heart-related event in the last 5 years. Ugh.
He needs quadruple bypass surgery which he had before we left. Despite many stern lectures from medical professionals, he ignores all directives to change his diet and lifestyle. So, no one is remotely surprised. Surgery went well, he’s home and is already attempting to ignore medical restriction around not driving or lifting anything more than 5 lbs.
Obviously, this means the beach portion of Plan B is now cancelled. However, DH and I are locked in with WDW. PLAN C IT IS!!

We call Southwest and a delightful agent helps us change our homeward bound flight from JAX to MCO. It is kind of a nightmare to make flight changes right now, and we did NOT want to fly out at 6AM (with a Magical Express hotel departure time of 3AM) with a one year old, which the fine folks at Southwest thankfully understood.

SO DH agrees to extend the trip to depart Monday, September 8th instead. Remember we are renting points and DH is a very budget-conscious individual, so I frantically message DVC point rental folks and finally score a reservation for the 2 extra nights at Saratoga Springs. We (read: I) wanted to spend some of the last days there at Disney Springs doing some souv shopping so this works out well. Uncle Jake (YAY UNCLE JAKE!) is still coming to meet us for MK on the last Saturday of the trip. Whoo!

Then….my MIL calls DH sobbing and yelling that we have abandoned the family. 🤷‍♀️ I’ll spare you most of the awkward family dramatics but TLDR; she invites SILDF on our vacation. DH says umm, this was a special trip just the three of us? So she reinvites her to the end of it anyway. SILDF initially declines as it just isn’t in the budget for her. MIL freaks out, tells DH that it isn’t fair that (heaven forbid, we work hard and plan and save for) Harrison has nice things that my neice doesn’t have, tried to book SILDF a room at AKL with us, realized how expensive cash price is at AKL, called DH and yelled at us for staying at such an expensive hotel (yay for rented DVC points being way cheaper than rack rates!), and books SILDF a room at the Caribbean Beach for Friday night before we all head to MK on Saturday. I was being a little bratty and was salty that she was crashing out vacay and our day with Uncle Jake (YAY UNCLE JAKE!) and worst of all was having something handed to her that we worked for. DH gives me a proverbial swift kick in the pants and reminds me we are going on my dream trip and reminds me I’m uniquely the *best* person to go to WDW with especially for my niece and neice’s father who have never been. So on to Plan C.1!
Can you repeat that???😳
 
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