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Trip Report This was supposed to have been last year's trip!

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Reports' started by Dave Z, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member

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    Hello all fellow Disney geeks! I'm Dave, & I'm proud to say that I am to, & to a milder extent so are my wife & son-- but I am the family's over-the-top Disney fan: I'm a former home-based travel agent for AAA of western NY for only Disney destinations, so I am a "College of Knowledge" Disney grad as well . . . I gave this up when AAA got to be a pain to deal with-- nothing at all against Disney-- it was all AAA.

    Last year we started a post on our upcoming trip to WDW. My wife Andi & I would be coming on our own for the 1st time to celebrate our 25th anniversary as our son Kevin would be in college (he'd asked for his last summer "kid" trip with us to be hiking with our dogs in the Adirondacks) . . . BUT I've heard it said that if you want God to laugh, tell Him your plans: Just before the end of his senior year in high school, Kevin developed pain in his left shoulder, & after visits to doctors & then to the E.R., he was ultimately diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer. But that same God who threw us that curveball also blessed us with living in Buffalo NY with the excellent Children's Hospital & Roswell Park Cancer Institute in our backyard.

    Upon diagnosis, the doctors warned that there'd be a very difficult 8 months or so ahead, but they were committed to helping Kevin beat this. And they were right: it was absolute hell for Kevin & for us as well, but true to their word, Kevin is now well & finally getting his life back! At his request, further info. is being kept strictly confidential, so there will be no more details given.

    But some minimal mention was necessary to explain the reason behind this year's trip. As he was still 17 when diagnosed, hospital staff put us in touch with Make-A-Wish, & while Kevin at 1st was hesitant to accept, the Make-A-Wish representatives assured him that they're not just for little kids & that they exist for the purpose of helping all kids-- big & small-- to have a great time after they'd been thru such a tough one. They discussed many possible plans with Kevin, but he ultimately decided that he wanted to go back to WDW-- a place he knows & loves & where he can do what he likes at his own pace, as he's still recovering. M-A-W managed to get Kevin's wish granted before his 18th birthday, their cut-off age. Now that the background info's over, here are our upcoming trip details:

    Our 2016 trip had been planned for August for 2 in Port Orleans Riverside. Thanks for the help from Kingdom Konsultants to replan from 2 to 4 for this year. We'd been planning to take Kevin & either his cousin or a friend to celebrate anyway, even before hearing from Make-A-Wish. So we now have 2 rooms at All-Star Music for 5 nights with a 5-day (4 + 1 free) pass. Kevin invited Garrett, one of his closest friends whom he'd known from 14 years of school together. This part of the trip Andi & I pay for, & thanks to Jill of K.K. for keeping up with all of our changes! Then we start with Kevin's MAW portion of the trip: 6 nights at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, then 2 nights at Daytona Beach. So we'll have 13 nights in FL!

    After our initial self-funded time at WDW, Make-A-Wish is providing passes for 4 to 1 day at SeaWorld, 2 days at Universal, & 3 days at WDW, including hoppers & water parks, lodging & contribution toward meals & expenses. All they ask for in return is that we meet with their affiliate Give Kids the World & provide MAW with photos & notes. I'm a published photographer from the days of film, currently using a digital SLR with multiple lenses on a recreational basis, so I'll just be sharing with them what I'd be doing for fun anyway!

    So this should be a wonderful trip with a lot of fun! MAW & GKTW seem to know how to manage things , , , I was concerned at 1st 'cause without advance info re. our #s, I couldn't preset fast passes, just our meal reservations for their part of the trip, BUT-- they provide the MAW child's group "Genie Wishes Pass" (access to alternate access to all parks & events, & no fast passes necessary) which is really good news as Kevin's still rebuilding his endurance. Of course we're all looking forward to being in attendance for the opening weekend of Pandora-- hoping there'll be a soft opening we can access before the official date!

    This will be all of our 1st time at SeaWorld. For the Z's, this is our 2nd time at Universal & 6th at WDW . . . I was also there twice each in the '70s & '80s . . . Kevin & Garrett were there together for their senior class trip in November 2015. After a very difficult past year, we're all looking forward to just relaxing & having fun together! This catch-up-to-date has been a bit lengthy, but I promise that updates will be more concise. We enjoy reading the other posts . . . this is actually the 1st completed one of our own!

    Itinerary in next posting , , ,
     
  2. MagicMegan

    MagicMegan Active Member

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    WNY huh? I live near Niagara Falls!

    Hope everything goes as planned!
     
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  3. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    And now our Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and Daytona Beach plan:

    May 19, 2017: Leave Cheektowaga, NY

    Time: By 9 am

    Disney's All Star Music Resort

    May 20, 2017: Arrive @ WDW Time: Between 6-7 am, Magic Kingdom, Fast pass are after noon in case there a problem on the drive down.

    Dinner @ T-Rex 6:30pm Disney Springs

    May 21, 2017: Animal Kingdom: Breakfast @ Tusker House @8:05 am

    Dinner@ Yak & Yeti @ 5:30pm dining plan

    May 22, 2017: Magic Kingdom: Breakfast @ O'hana 7:30 am at Disney's Polynesian Resort

    Dinner @ The Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Skipper Canteen Dinner @ 5: dining plan

    May 23, 2017: Hollywood Studios

    Dinner @ 50's Prime Time, dining plan @5:45pm

    May 24, 2017: EPCOT

    Dinner @ Le Cellier Steakhouse, dining plan @ 5:55pm

    TRANSFER DAY MAKE-A-WISH --May 25, 2017

    Disney's Wilderness Lodge

    May 25, 2017: SeaWorld,

    Dinner @ Paradiso 37 Disney Springs @6:30pm

    May 26, 2017: Universal

    Dinner @ Margartaville, Universal's City Walk @ 6 pm

    May 27, 2017: MIX BAG, could be second day at Universal or Water Park.

    Dinner@ Planet Hollywood Observatory Dinner, Disney Springs @ 5:15pm,

    May 28, 2017: Magic Kingdom/ EPCOT, Breakfast @ Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare, at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, @ 8:05 am,

    Dinner @ Whispering Canyon Cafe Dinner at Disney's Wilderness Lodge (Can take boat from Magic Kingdom) @ 5:30pm

    May 29, 2017: Animal Kingdom; Breakfast @ Whispering Canyon Cafe @ 7:30 am

    Dinner @ Rainforest Cafe, Animal Kingdom @ 5:30 pm

    May 30, 2017, Last Day @ WDW: Magic Kingdom, Breakfast @ The Crystal Palace @ 8:10am

    Dinner @ Chef Mickey's , Disney's Contemporary Resort @ 5:55 pm

    May 31, 2017: Check out of Wilderness Lodge, After eating Breakfast on the road by noon to Daytona Beach 2 nights at the Holiday Inn on the Ocean, Stay over night until late on June 1st during the late evening drive home 16 hours drive time (without stops!) to Cheektowaga, NY.
     
  4. littleroo

    littleroo Well-Known Member

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    First and most importantly, I am glad your son is doing so well!! I can only imagine how much all of you deserve and need this trip!! Your plans all look amazing!! Have a great time and I very much look forward to your trip report!!
     
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  5. LeighM

    LeighM Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad your son is doing better! Sounds like this trip is much needed.
     
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  6. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    18 days to WDW, start driving in 17!!!!!
     
  7. MySmallWorldof4

    MySmallWorldof4 Well-Known Member

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    So happy that your son is in recovery. What an ordeal but how wonderful that organizations such as Make a Wish exist. I can't wait to read the rest of your plans and eventual report. Also will be looking forward to some great photography.:)
     
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  8. MySmallWorldof4

    MySmallWorldof4 Well-Known Member

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    We will be there about the same time. Leaving in 16 days for our drive down. :)
     
  9. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We will be there May 20 for eleven night at WDW, this will beat our record from 2008 of 9 nights at Disney's Polynesian.
     
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  10. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    The Magic bands arrive last week, we thought that our stuff friends would pose for us P5043208_0239.JPG

    14 days to go. On line check-in is done as well.
     
  11. DisneyJill

    DisneyJill Active Member

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    Dave, it's been my pleasure working with you and I'm so glad that you're FINALLY going to get to go. I think you'll really enjoy getting to spend time at Give Kids the World. It's a spectacular place and you'll meet wonderful people. I can't wait to hear all about your trip when you're home!
     
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  12. Kingdom Konsultant

    Kingdom Konsultant WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor Premium Member WDWMAGIC Sponsor

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    I'm so happy that your son is doing well and you can now take him to WDW. I know you will have a wonderful time! I can't wait to read more

    Pam
     
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  13. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Hello, well in about 10 hours away from the start of our ride down to WDW.
    And we are ready. Doubt anyone will get much sleep. Kevin has a large can of Red bull
    getting cold.

    More to follow on May 20
     
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  14. littleroo

    littleroo Well-Known Member

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    Have a safe trip and enjoy!!!
     
  15. MotherofaPrincessLover

    MotherofaPrincessLover Well-Known Member

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    Have a great time!
     
  16. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    On the road in West Virginia MAY 20, 23017_0510.JPG
     

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  17. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    We left Buffalo NY at 7:30 am yesterday, and after stops for lunch, dinner and shower at the Flying J's we were here at 5:45 am this morning!! MAY 20, 23017_0317.JPG
     
  18. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Good morning yesterday when we got rooms assign, we were not close to transportation as I requested.
    Well long story short I was able to talk to Disney and got an upgrade to prefer room over the standard.
    Thank you Disney!
     
  19. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Picture of Kevin handling the truck. MAY 20, 23017_0484.JPG
     
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  20. Dave Z

    Dave Z Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Breakfast at Tusker house this morning
    Kevin at his morning best!

    P5213502.JPG
     

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