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Trip Report Week Full of Relaxation and Directional Challenges - An April Trip Report


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It’s been 4 months since my April trip so it’s about time that I get this report done! I usually try to get it done shortly after returning but it has been a crazy busy summer. I figure I need to start now since my next trip is now only 46 days away! I promise to do better after that trip. :D

So let’s get to it!

The Details

Who: Me (Ashley) and my husband, Wes

Picture from our November 2012 Trip

On this trip, we were joined by Wes’ parents, his older brother, younger sister, and younger brother.

When: April 24-30, 2014

Where: Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Thursday April 24th – We Arrive, Get Lost for the First Time this Trip and Visit Downtown Disney

This was kind of a last minute trip. Wes’ parents are DVC members and they had points that they were going to lose if they didn’t use them. So, they decided to rent a 2-bedroom villa at Old Key West and invited us to come with them. We would have to share a room with his little sister but I didn’t mind! A free room at WDW? Count me in! :D

Since this was a last minute trip, I was already there in March and we were going again in October (I’m out of control with Disney trips!), we needed to drive this trip. We have always had the luxury of flying on our trips so driving was a new adventure, hence the title of this trip report.

We woke up at 5am and left the house around 5:40am. I wanted to leave at 5:30am so we weren’t too off schedule. I’ll share a few pictures of our 9 hour car ride.

You know it’s too early when it’s still dark outside

Wes decided to sleep most of the morning ride.

Almost there!

So close!

We made it!

We arrived at Old Key West around 2:30pm. It took us 9 hours and that was with us stopping 3 times to use the facilities and get some food. Not too shabby! We checked in and were told that our room was ready. Sweet! We made our way to building 21 to check out our room. Wes was driving and I was the navigator as we left the main building to head to our room. I was looking at the map that the hotel gave us and I instructed Wes to turn right. Well, what do you know? We should have gone straight and we now just left the resort! Hahaha Oops! We literally drove in to the resort, checked in, and then drove out.

After that first of several directional challenges committed by me (and later by Siri), we finally found our building and room!

I was so glad that our room was ready because I really needed to use the restroom! We climbed the stairs up to our second floor room with luggage in tow only to find that Mousekeeping was still in our room! Ahhhhh! :eek: I normally wouldn’t be bothered but when you gotta go, you gotta go! Hahaha After a few minutes, the Mousekeeper was done and we were able to get into our room.

Love this lamp in the living room!


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This chair turns into a twin size sleeper. Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

The second bedroom (our bedroom for the week)

This villa has so much closet space!

The second bathroom

Master bedroom

Master bath

The porch has a door connecting to the Master and the living room

View from our room of the golf course

We dropped off our luggage and then decided to go walk up to the main building to kill some time before Wes’ family arrived. Wes’ family was flying and they weren’t landing until around 4pm. Wes’ older brother wouldn’t be arriving until later in the week.

If you have read my other trip reports, you know I LOVE trash can pictures! :D You can expect to see more of them this trip.



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I love this area

First stop was Good’s Food To Go to pick up my resort refillable mug. On this trip, we were staying for a full week but we were only going to the parks for 2 days. (Crazy, I know! I’ll explain the reasoning later.) Since we would be spending a lot more time at the resort this trip, I knew that it would absolutely be cost effective to get a refillable mug. I love me some soda! :D

Wes decided not to get a mug because he doesn’t drink that much soda, but he did get a Mickey ice cream bar. I turned around after getting my first refill of the trip and he had already eaten most of it! Ugh! He forgets that I need to take pictures of food BEFORE he eats it. :D

We continued our leisurely stroll of the resort to kill time and really so I could take pictures!

So cute.

Out near the Family Tree and Movie Under the Stars viewing area.

On my March trip, I started a new photo series of restroom signs and it continues on this trip. :D I’m strange, I know. Trash cans, restroom signs. I can’t help it! They all go with their surrounding areas so well that I can’t not admire them!

Instagram Love

I got 2 more refills in my mug before we went back to the room. :D

We made our way back to the room and unpacked our stuff. I didn’t last long until I turned on the TV to see my favorite…Stacey! I love the Must Do’s!!

While we waited for Wes’ family to arrive, we continued to watch Stacey (until Wes couldn’t take it anymore) and I caught up on some emails. Wes’ family arrived around 5:40pm. We all needed to link our separate credit cards to our MagicBands so we went up to the main building with Wes’ parents. They weren’t giving the kids charging privileges. Very smart parents. :D

Wes and I wanted to go to Downtown Disney to eat dinner at Earl of Sandwich. Wes’ parents were kind enough to offer to drop us off so we didn’t have to drive our car and deal with parking.

We got to the Earl of Sandwich and there was a HUGE line! I waited in line with Wes for a little while and then decided to try to grab a table since it was packed. Wes got our food and we ate around 8. Goodness that is late! I prefer eating around Early Bird dinner time. Hahaha No, not quite that early but much earlier than 8.

Wes got the Philly Cheese steak and I stuck with my favorite, the Hawaiian BBQ. I know that everyone was complaining that the prices went up and the sandwich size got smaller but I still like the Earl.



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We decided to explore DTD for a little while. We hit up a bunch of the shops and just browsed.

I don’t know about you but I would feel guilty eating someone as cute as Olaf

So many ornaments! LOVE

I took a picture like this back in 2008 and decided to recreate it. :p

Wes’ brother and sister decided that they were going to come meet us. They were taking the ferry from Old Key West so we told them that we would go meet them at the West Side dock. Oh my goodness. That is quite a long walk from the Marketplace, especially with all of the construction going on. We met them at the dock and they decided they wanted to eat at Earl of Sandwich….so back to the Marketplace we went. :D The line at Earl was still super long and it was 9 something. Crazy.

We left DTD around 10 and headed back to the rest by bus (I wasn’t walking back to the West Side to take a ferry!) After a long day of travel, we managed to be in bed by 11.


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Friday, April 25th – Hollywood Studios Here We Come!

Today was one of only two days we would be visiting the parks. As I mentioned, this was a somewhat last minute trip. Wes didn’t want to buy tickets for another trip this year but we luckily had some 2 day base tickets left over from a 2012 trip. I contemplated adding the park hopper option but we really didn’t need to be spending any more money on this unplanned trip. So, we stuck with our 2 day base tickets, which meant we would only be going to two parks this trip. After much deliberation, we decided on going to Hollywood Studios and Epcot.

So, today was our day to go to Hollywood Studios! Today it would just be me, Wes and the kids visiting the parks. (We like to call Wes' brother and sister the kids still even though they are 18 and 15 :D) Wes’ parents decided that they wanted a relaxing day at the resort so they would be sitting this one out. I had told the kids that we would be leaving the resort by 7. I said they could come with us or meet us later but that was when I would be leaving. Wes and I were up and ready and the kids were a little slow to get ready. Remember, they are teenagers so waking up early is extra difficult. :p It's still difficult for me, too but being in WDW I could wake up at 4am and be ready to go!

We told them we were waiting outside and to hurry up. We ended up leaving by about 7:20am. Not terrible but later than I wanted. Oh well.

We managed to arrive to DHS around 7:40am for EMH opening of 8am. Not too shabby considering we left late but the lines at the turnstiles were already pretty long.

Foggy morning

Wes, his younger sister and brother

When we got to the turnstiles they were acting very strange. It took all of us a couple tries with our MagicBands to get them to work. Oh the joys of technology! Once we made it in the park, we made our way to Toy Story Midway Mania to get in the standby line. We had FP+s for later but I always like to ride standby first thing in the morning since the line is about as short as its gonna get.

I think I take this same picture every time I ride.

Wes won. Boo! One of these days I’m going to beat him!

Any Game of Thrones fans out there? We walked by this Joffrey’s coffee shop and I couldn’t help but make a joke about not trusting their coffee. :hilarious:

The foggy morning made for some ominous looking photos of Tower of Terror.

We rode RnR and ended up being in rows 11 and 12. Man do you feel it back there! I knew the ride was rougher but I didn’t remember it being that rough. I must be getting older. :D Wes’ sister had her hair up and it got so jostled during the ride that it fell out. We had to take a quick break so she could redo her hair.

It’s not the best picture of a picture but it’s too funny not to post. I make the same face every time on RnR. I can’t help it!



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One ride was enough for Wes so the 3 of us went back to do the single rider line. It wasn’t quite 9am yet so we had to wait a minute. I think it was 8:58 or something like that and the cast member said what the heck and let us go in the line. Thanks cast member!

We were able to hit up a bunch of attractions that morning. I love it when the parks aren’t too crowded!

On Star Tours, we boarded our row and I was the first one in. I know the drill so I quickly stowed my belongings, sat down, and buckled my safety restraint. I was staring at my nails because sometimes I do that. (I’m strange, I know) The cast member asked everyone to raise their arms to check on our restraints and called me out saying “You too, trying to pretend you aren’t paying attention.” :D We began our flight and guess who the Rebel Spy was? Me! And my picture was absolutely horrible. Hahaha It was great! It was my first time being the Rebel Spy. I can cross that off my bucket list now.

We were getting hungry and I really wanted to try a gourmet hot dog from Fairfax Fare. I love hot dogs so I was excited to try one of the gourmet dogs. I went with the pulled pork.

My review? AMAZING! I would absolutely order it again. I want to try some of the others too now.

Wes went with a boring pizza for lunch. :D

After lunch we decided to go to the Animation Academy. I love the Animation Academy. I could stay there all day learning to draw the characters and be happy.

The artist mentioned that we would be drawing a character from Frozen and everyone got super excited in the room. Who would we be drawing you ask….

It’s Elsa!!!! So awesome! I was really worried about drawing a character that is a person rather than a mouse or a duck. I feel like it’s a lot harder.

My finished drawing

We all looked at each other’s drawings and had some good laughs. Wes decided that his parents would have to vote on their favorite later.

We headed to a few more attractions before we headed back to the resort for a break.



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My new photo series of restroom signs continue

The kids had never pulled the rope over by Indy so I had to take them.

I love vintage movie posters

Wes won again! And he got what we think is his highest score ever.

We left the park around 2 but not before taking some more pictures. :D

If you have read my previous trip reports, you know I have a couple of photo series going. One is of trash cans and one is of me popping out from behind things. On our way out of the park I realized that I forgot to take pictures of me popping out from behind stuff. Wes thought up the concept for this next picture…


That is my favorite picture yet! It looks like I’m popping my head out of the trash can! :D Hahaha LOVE! And that’s why I married the man. Genius.

You know what this picture needs…

A trash can!

We got back to the resort and went to meet Wes’ parents at the quiet pool near our building. After such a foggy morning, it turned into a gorgeous day. I went up to the Hospitality House for refill number 4 and then went back to the pool.

Tonight, Wes’ parents were cooking dinner in our room. We went back in to shower and get ready for dinner. Before dinner though, we had to have Wes’ parents vote on the best Elsa drawing. Wes took all of the drawings and covered our signatures with the WDW coasters. Sadly for Wes, his parents voted his their least favorite. I’m happy to say that mine was voted as the favorite! :D

Wes and I wanted to head back to DHS and Wes’ little brother was the only one who wanted to join. We made it back to DHS a little before 7.



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Love your TR so far, and your elsa drawing isnt bad at all! Much better than what I can do:) Looking forward to reading some more.

PS Great pictures!


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After the fun we had an Animation Academy, we decided to go back for another round.

Wes was a little defeated after his Elsa drawing didn’t win. So sad :cry:

The artist announced that we would be drawing a character from Frozen. Wait. I’m having déjà vu. Didn’t we do this already? I guess Frozen must be popular or something. :p Luckily, we didn’t draw Elsa again. We drew…OLAF!

My Olaf drawing

Wes was happy it was a snowman instead of a person.

I was trying to take more pictures and Wes started getting in my way. I told him to move and the second picture is his response.


He would kill me if he knew I posted this so don’t tell him okay? :hilarious:

We took a trip on Star Tours and then we decided to try TSMM. TSMM had a posted wait of 50 minutes but we had nowhere else to be. Luckily the wait was only 30 minutes. Sweet!

Hello trash can

Wes’ brother and I decided to ride together. We were convinced that Wes kept winning because he would steal the other person’s points and therefore make it harder for his car companion to win.

Wes’ brother’s score on the left and mine on the right

What was Wes’ score?

Well, so much for that theory! He got his new highest score.

There was a 10pm showing of Fantasmic tonight and I really wanted to see it. I love Fantasmic but I hate how crowded the line gets to see the show. The last time I saw the show was 2010 so I was determined to see it again tonight.

Wes’ brother and I decided we would go grab some drinks from Fairfax Fare before entering the theater while Wes waited in line. Of course, the line would decide to start moving into the theater right when we got our drinks. We ran back in line and caught Wes right before he went in. Phew. We went to go get seats and Wes went to get us some churros.


We got really great seats in the Pocahontas section and were pretty close to center. I left my big lens in the room and I wish I would have brought it. I’m still not great at night pictures. Here were my best ones.

I forgot how much I love Fantasmic! I think it’s the music. I love that score.

We left the theater slowly as I was in no rush to leave the park. On our way out, I was looking at the back side of ToT. All the sudden I noticed there was someone in the window! So cool. I never noticed it before but then again I haven’t been on this side of ToT in a really long time. I love catching details like this.

Do you see him?

There he is!


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We exited the park very slowly to try to let some of the crowd die down. I busied myself with picture taking.

I love all the neon

We got back to the resort around 11. It was a successful first day of our trip and the fun continues tomorrow!

Up next: Breakfast at Kona Café, Relaxation and a Brave New Adventure!


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Original Poster
Love your TR so far, and your elsa drawing isnt bad at all! Much better than what I can do:) Looking forward to reading some more.

PS Great pictures!
Thanks for following along! :D The Animation Academy is so fun!

Great tr!!
Thank you @Disneydreamer23!

Intriguing title, looking forward to the rest of the story.
Yes, you saw our first challenge with driving around the resort. There are more challenges to come. :hilarious: We always use Disney's transportation so we aren't used to navigating around on our own.

I'm in. Loved your past reports!
Thanks for joining @Zipitidoda I'm glad you've enjoyed my past reports!

Following along! I followed your last TR. As I begin reading this, I thought I recognized you, but I definitely did when I saw the Trash Cans! Haha!
Yep, that's me with the trash cans. Hahaha :D Thanks for reading @BaltimoreBaloo


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Great start to the report. The pictures are coming out really good. You have a very photographic family that seems to love taking pictures with everyone. Following along.


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Thanks for the TR! Love to read and watch :)
You're welcome! Thanks for reading!

Great start to the report. The pictures are coming out really good. You have a very photographic family that seems to love taking pictures with everyone. Following along.
Thanks! I'm still figuring out my DSLR. I wish I had more time to practice with it but I really only use it on Disney trips. Hahaha Good thing I have some trips planned so I can get more practice!

Love the pics and great start!
Thanks for reading @fractal !


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Saturday April 26th - Breakfast at Kona Café, Relaxation and a Brave New Adventure!

This morning we had reservations at Kona Café for breakfast at 9:40am. We were woken up about an hour earlier than we had to by Wes’ father knocking on our door. He was like a kid who’s so excited to be at Disney that he needs everyone else to be awake too. :D What he forgot was that the four of us were driving to the Polynesian and didn’t need to be up that early. Wes’ parents were taking a bus and left shortly after waking the rest of us up.

Wes was driving and I was the navigator again. Not the best idea. We almost missed the entrance to get to the Poly. It was a close call but we made it to the correct lane and continued our journey.

See. We should have been over by the “M” or “E” but we weren’t. Oops.

We made it!

The cast member at the security gate checked our MagicBand and saw that we had a reservation for breakfast. We parked the car and made it to Kona Café with 10 minutes to spare. Wes’ parents were already there. I checked us in and we were given our buzzer.

So sad this will be no more.

For breakfast, Wes’ sister and I got the Tonga Toast and everyone else went with the Big Kahuna.

Breakfast was really great. Everyone enjoyed their meal! Wes’ family was going to the Magic Kingdom today and I was really sad we wouldn’t be joining them but we had another fun activity planned for the day. :D

After breakfast, his family went to the MK and we decided to wander around the Poly for a little bit before driving back to OKW.

Saw this shirt in the store and couldn’t resist taking a picture.

We got back to OKW and decided to head to the big pool. I brought my refillable mug and got refill numbers 4, 5 and 6. It was nice lounging around at the pool.

We couldn’t hang out at the pool for too long because we had booked the Fort Wilderness Archery Experience! I was super excited about this. I love the Hunger Games and I so wanted to learn how to use a bow and arrow. I also really love The Walking Dead and now, I know that Darryl uses a cross bow but I figured the art of archery might come in handy during a zombie apocalypse situation. :D So it was off to Fort Wilderness!

We parked in the main lot around 2. Our class didn’t start until 2:45 so we figured we had plenty of time to get to the Bike Barn. Since it was such a nice day, we decided to walk instead of taking the bus. Oh my goodness. That resort is huge! We had no idea it would take us so long to walk to the Bike Barn. We got to the Bike Barn about 10 minutes before our start time. We were drenched in sweat by the time we got there, but we made it!

There she is!

We checked in and we were the last ones they were waiting on. Sorry! We went over to the training area and our instructors were just starting to set up.

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