Trip Report You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home - September 2020

Hello friends, and welcome to another K and J trip report!

We will be returning to Walt Disney World together after basically a year away…more on that later. This is my fourth trip report so I’m sure many of you know us by this point, so I’ll keep the introductions brief…well, brief for me anyway.

Who: Me, Katie

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And my husband, Jason

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We both visited Walt Disney World as kids, but our love for the Disney parks truly blossomed when we went to Walt Disney World together for the first time, for our first wedding anniversary back in 2014. We had the best time and made so many cherished memories, and we loved it so much that we ended up booking our next WDW trip before we even checked out!

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In total, we have been to Walt Disney World together 11 times, and Disneyland twice in the span of 6 years.

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In December 2017, we finally took the plunge and became annual passholders at WDW, and that’s when our trips started becoming more frequent – we average 3-4 Disney trips a year…with the exception of this year. As you may remember, I went on a Disney cruise with my mom, sister, and SIL back in February, and we spent one night at WDW, where I flew solo in Epcot for a couple hours. J and I had plans to do a WDW trip in April, and then COVID-19 happened. April became May, May became June, and then when our June trip was cancelled by Disney, we decided to cancel that trip altogether, and go to the beach in Palm Coast, FL instead. While in Palm Coast, we made a quick trip over to Disney Springs for a few hours. Aside from that time in Disney Springs, Jason and I have not been to Walt Disney World together in nearly a year. In fact, it will have been almost exactly a year when we return. I know we are so fortunate to be APs and be able to visit as often as we do, so I hate to feel like I’m complaining about my champagne problems, but I know many of you have felt the same way we have over the last few months. Being unable to be in our happy place, our home away from home, has been so hard for us, emotionally. We are so beyond ready to be back in Walt Disney World. Speaking of being back…

When: September 8th-13th

We had originally booked our trip for September 9th-13th, but then an Annual Passholder room discount came out in July, and we were able to add another night to our trip and still be paying less than what we were originally going to pay! Since we were going to be going down the Wednesday after Labor Day (the 9th), we were already planning to take the 8th off, since we didn’t see the point in being off work the 7th, working the 8th, and then being off the rest of the week. We’re excited to have a nice long weekend to get packed and prepared for the trip, rather than working all day the day prior, coming home and finishing last minute packing and preparation, and going to bed way too late the night before our trip.

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Where: Pop Century!

We have not stayed at Pop since March 2017, prior to the room renovations, so we are excited to be back. We have stayed in a renovated room at All Star Movies and loved it. I know a lot of people view the new theming as sterile, but we don’t mind it. I view it as a clean, modern look, and we absolutely love all of the added storage and USB portals/outlets. I know many folks don’t dig the “hardwood” floors and prefer carpet, but our entire house is hardwood and tile, so we’re used to it.

Our last (and only, up to this point) experience at Pop was defined by what felt like hundreds of school groups and sports teams staying at the resort at the same time as us, so we don’t exactly look back on our time at Pop with the fondest of memories. It’s not that there was anything wrong with the resort, it can just get frustrating to be surrounded by tons and tons of teenagers any time you go to ride a bus to the parks or eat in the resort food court. None of them were poorly behaved, as far as I can remember (at least not as poorly behaved as the cheerleaders when we stayed at CBR during a cheer competition, but that’s another story for another day)…there were just so many of them, everywhere, all the time…We are excited to make new, hopefully fonder memories at Pop. Jason is very excited about the Skyliner. I….am anxious. If you read my Disneyland trip report from this past December, you may remember that I have a pretty intense fear of heights. I told J that I would try the Skyliner at least once, since it’s important to him. If I absolutely can’t stand it, we’ll have our car with us, so we can drive to Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

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Why: We love visiting Walt Disney World in the Fall (and the Spring, and the Holidays, and…). Typically, September/October trips mean Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. While we are totally bummed that MNSSHP is cancelled, we understand why. There will always be other years. As far as Food and Wine…we are actually looking forward to the new, scaled-down version of the festival. I have always felt the usual 30+ booths to be overwhelming, especially if you’re only at Epcot for one day. We’ve already made a big list of things we want to enjoy at Food and Wine, and I know we won’t be disappointed!

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So there’s my “brief” summary of the trip…look forward to more detailed plans coming soon!

Up next: Daily plans
 
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k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 5 ✅

A rainy day in HS. No Rise for us, but we still made the most of it. I’m also convinced that they’ve increased park capacity. HS was more crowded today than I’ve seen it in a few trips.

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We have breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace in the morning, then we’ll be headed home. We’re always sad to leave, but we’re also SO SO TIRED. After a year away, our bodies forgot how to Disney. Of course, I’ll be sharing the full trip report in detail once I get settled back into real life.
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We have been home from WDW for three weeks days, bags are unpacked, the laundry has been done, both bags of Goofy's Candy Co. sour character gummies have been demolished, and I have 50 work days to get through until our next escape to the World, so I do believe it's time to start the full trip report! Let's get this party started!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
September 7th - Disney Eve

The day before a Disney trip is always madness. This time, I told myself, was going to be different. We had a 3-Day weekend to be able to get packed and prepared for this trip. There was no need to be packing less than 8 hours before we were to leave. Then, I still needed to finish making our masks for the trip, I “had to” decorate the house for Fall, we had Labor Day Weekend family commitments for both sides of the family, and I'm sure you can see where this is going...

Disney Eve (Labor Day) started out well enough...we slept in, but not by too much. I made us chocolate chip Mickey waffles in our fancy new Mickey waffle iron...

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Then, I had one load of laundry to finish before I could start packing. Jason had already finished his laundry, so he went ahead and packed. It took him all of 45 seconds. At some point, we realized that we needed to go to Target...for the third time in three days. I always make a list of things we need to buy before our trips, but stuff always ends up being forgotten, or added to the list last-minute. Then, we made another purchase...

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The day prior, Jason and I had run into Academy Sports to buy me some new socks since mine keep disappearing. While we were there, Jason had spotted this kayak. We had been on the hunt for a new kayak for him for a few months. We've had kayaks for a few years, and always transported them on roof racks on top of my suv. Then in May, I got a new car (still an suv, but smaller), and we didn't want to put roof racks on it. Jason got a pickup truck back in 2018, so we decided that we'd transport the kayaks that way...except, his kayak was 14 feet long, and hung so far out of the back of the truck, that we'd have to put a flag on it anytime we transported the kayaks. Apparently, everyone else in the Atlanta area has decided to take up kayaking while they've been quarantined at home, so they've been hard to come by these days, and Jason had his eye on this specific kayak. J doesn't like spending money on himself (can't relate 😂), so he said he wasn't going to get it. After I nagged him nonstop for hours - you just worked overtime last weekend, you deserve to splurge on yourself, it's going to start getting colder outside soon, there won't be many more kayaking weekends left this year, I miss getting to kayak together, etc, he finally caved and bought the kayak. It was a *process* trying to get it strapped into the back of the truck, but we finally got it done, and I had a happy hubby.

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When we got home and got the kayak unloaded, it was finally time to start seriously packing for the trip. As always, I laid all of my outfits out to make sure I liked them, before rolling up my clothes and placing them in packing cubes. After clothes, it's time to pack shoes, then ears, Magic Bands, hair stuff, toiletries, stuff we need for the room, etc etc etc. I meticulously went through my two-page packing list, checking off each item as I went (Monica Geller here). I got about 75% done, when it was time to take Max off to his grandparents' house, where he stays when we're out of town.

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After dropping Max off, we ran to Chick-Fil-A for our traditional Disney Eve dinner, and then it was time to finally finish packing. Even though we had a 3-Day weekend to prepare, it still came down to the wire. Any other last-minute packers out there? I used to start packing for our Disney trips wayyy in advance, but it seems that the more we go, the more of a procrastinator I become. These alarms were painful to set...yes, we're both ✨those people✨. Multiple alarms every morning. Somehow we usually manage to sleep through each other's alarms though.

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When I finally crawled into bed, it was a good hour past when I had planned to go to bed. Oh well, not like I'm going to get much sleep the night before a Disney trip anyway!

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Coming up: travel day, and checking into Pop!
 

Cetta

Well-Known Member
I can totally relate to the multiple alarms in the morning! I can also relate to the fact that I used to pack weeks in advance and now that I am more used to these kinds of trips (and having to pack for FOUR people!) it's more last minute but always with a well thought out list! Can't wait to read more!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Jason looks happy with his new kayak!

I'm excited to see what the rest of your trip has in store for you both!
He is! We were hoping to take them out this weekend, but it looks like it won't be warm enough. Hopefully we can get at least one kayaking trip in before it gets too cold! 🤞
I can totally relate to the multiple alarms in the morning! I can also relate to the fact that I used to pack weeks in advance and now that I am more used to these kinds of trips (and having to pack for FOUR people!) it's more last minute but always with a well thought out list! Can't wait to read more!
I'm glad I'm not the only one!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tuesday, September 8th - Arrival Day

I was rudely awakened by the alarm clock, after my usual routine of restless sleep the night before a trip. Thoughts of "Did I remember to pack everything?" "Is my ID in my travel wallet?" "Wait, our reservation is for tomorrow, right?" kept me up throughout the night. Please tell me I'm not the only one that gets pre-trip jitters. I always have to quadruple-check that our reservations are indeed for the dates that I reserved them for...and yet still, then night before, I have nightmares that we're going to get there and have nowhere to stay. Before our wedding, I used to have nightmares that I forgot to buy a dress, forgot to buy shoes, forgot to tell Jason what time to be there...you know, the longer I go on about this, the more of a weirdo I appear to be...

Moving on...I woke Jason, and then it was a mad dash to get ready and get the car packed up. Every. single. trip, Jason reminds me at least 10x that we "need" to be on the road at 5:00, don't make us late! I made us 10 minutes "late" one time, and I'll never live it down! Thankfully this time, we were pulling out of the garage at 5:00 on the dot.

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Good Morning, Atlanta! No people standing in the middle of I-75 this time, but there were a lot more cars on the road than usual this time of the morning. We chalked it up to being the day after a holiday weekend. Either people who work out of town were heading to the airport on Tuesday morning instead of Monday morning, or people were still headed home after the holiday.

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About 2.5 hours after hitting the road, we stopped in Perry, GA for our traditional breakfast of Chick-Fil-A. Yes, we have Chick-Fil-A for dinner the night before every trip, and we have Chick-Fil-A for breakfast on our travel day. What can I say? We're Georgians. We would normally eat inside, but most (if not all) Chick-Fil-A dining rooms are still closed, so we went through the drive-thru and got back on the road, before stopping at a rest stop about 30 minutes later to stretch our legs and use the facilities, since we didn't get to do so at Chick-Fil-A. Side note: I'm a chicken minis girl, Jason usually gets one of their breakfast bowls, but decided on a breakfast burrito this time, since that would be easier to eat...in the car...? 🤷‍♀️

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After crossing over into FL, we stopped for gas and more caffeine. At some point, we also snacked on some "trail mix." I put that in quotations, because it's mostly chocolate and chocolate-covered things. It was delicious, though! We love the trail mixes from Target.

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As we were nearing WDW, I was willing my phone to go off with a notification that our room was ready, and lo and behold, it worked! Our room was ready before we arrived, and...we were on the 4th floor? Woof. But at least our room was ready!

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And soon enough, just after Noon (12:02 pm, to be precise), we were pulling through these magical gates. Let the magic begin!

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Up next: room pics!
 

Sulley_1313

Member
About 2.5 hours after hitting the road, we stopped in Perry, GA for our traditional breakfast of Chick-Fil-A. Yes, we have Chick-Fil-A for dinner the night before every trip, and we have Chick-Fil-A for breakfast on our travel day. What can I say? We're Georgians. We would normally eat inside, but most (if not all) Chick-Fil-A dining rooms are still closed, so we went through the drive-thru and got back on the road, before stopping at a rest stop about 30 minutes later to stretch our legs and use the facilities, since we didn't get to do so at Chick-Fil-A. Side note: I'm a chicken minis girl, Jason usually gets one of their breakfast bowls, but decided on a breakfast burrito this time, since that would be easier to eat...in the car...? 🤷‍♀️

I'm not from Georgia, but I certainly see nothing wrong with Chick-Fil-A for back-to-back meals!

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Loco_driver

Well-Known Member
I’m here for all the fun! One of my very first jobs was working as a stocker at academy sports. We always kept the kayaks on the very top rack at the front of the store by the registers. I used to hate pulling them down for people because I had to balance on the ladder while trying to keep the kayak from falling to the ground! Academy is best enjoyed as a customer, lol.

A is the same way with the alarms. I giver her a hard time about it because I get up on the first alarm every time!
 

k8einwdw

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm not from Georgia, but I certainly see nothing wrong with Chick-Fil-A for back-to-back meals!

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That gif is cracking me up! 😂
I’m here for all the fun! One of my very first jobs was working as a stocker at academy sports. We always kept the kayaks on the very top rack at the front of the store by the registers. I used to hate pulling them down for people because I had to balance on the ladder while trying to keep the kayak from falling to the ground! Academy is best enjoyed as a customer, lol.

A is the same way with the alarms. I giver her a hard time about it because I get up on the first alarm every time!
We were so impressed with the kid the brought the kayak out to the truck for us - he carried it one-handed. I usually end up dragging mine once we make it halfway from the parking lot to the water because it's too heavy! 😂 I used to get up on my first alarm, J has been a bad influence on me!
 
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