View Full Version : HeatherPKSU - Disney FINALLY! - April 18-28, 2008 - Offsite

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04-14-2008, 01:31 PM
HeatherPKSUís Disney....finally!!

Travel dates: April 18th - 28th, 2008

Travel method: Midwest Airlines from Kansas City. Alamo car rental.

Accommodations: Offsite

Resort: Lara Chartierís house. www.disneytropical.com

Ages Represented in Group: Me (23), Matt (boyfriend - 26), Troy (brother - 32), Lori (Troyís girlfriend of almost 19 years - 31)

Disney Resort Experience Represented in Group: Me - went to MGM for 3 hours once during a school trip, Matt & Troy - both went when they were younger, but all they remember is Space Mountain, Lori - Lover of all things Disney, has never stepped foot on the grounds!!

Comments: I was five when my family went. They thought I was too young to remember. I remember NOT going! This is going to be a very big and meaningful trip for me. And we're prepared to be silly and be kids a again, just like in the Disney promotion commercials!

Cast of characters: Troy - beach bum, Lori - Disney collector and fan, Matt - lazy bones, Me - trip planner and soon to be 12 year old!!

Well, itís hard to believe that the time is almost here! I have literally counted minutes until our trip. I have been trying to plan this trip for almost three years now. Things have kept coming up so itís hard to believe that weíre actually going to make it this time!! Lori is such a huge collector and disney fan that I couldnít go without her. She is going to FREAK when she actually gets there. Iím afraid to say that she might be more excited than I am.

I have tried to plan everything, but got quite frustrated with the huge amount of information that is out there, and just made a general outline for the trip. I did decide to go during this time of April because I figured that since Easter was early, hopefully Spring Break was also and we would miss most of the crowds, but get to take advantage of the gorgeous weather!!

Also, youíll notice that there is only one ADR. I originally wanted to do way more than that, but we have already spent an arm and a leg, and possibly a hip and eye-ball too, on this vacation. We also figured that we didnít really need a whole bunch of nice dinners to enjoy the vacation. But that doesnít mean Iím not jealous of all you who do sit down dinners. :( We just had to choose where to skim from and unfortunately thatís where it ended up being.

Friday, April 18th, Fly out, get car, get house keys, get groceries and get to BOMA!!
Saturday, April 19th, Animal Kingdom, Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, Night at Pleasure Island
Sunday, April 20th, EPCOT, weíre just going to snack and drink our way around the world, after the rides of course. We donít want to be messy peoples! Swim in the pool at the house that night.
Monday, April 21st, Hollywood Studios <-- Still trying to get used to saying that! Lunch at the ABC Commissary
Tuesday, April 22nd, Water parks baby! We donít know which one we are going to yet. We are thinking about splitting the day in half and trying to get to both, whether that works out or not is to be seen!
Wednesday, April 23rd, Disney Quest during the morning, Lunch at Pecos Bills in Magic Kingdom. Night - Mickeyís Pirates and Princess Party

After that, who knows!! We still have four more days! Instead of racing and then needing a break, we are going to do all the parks pretty leisurely, so that we donít get absolutely wiped out. But even as I write this I know that our poor little feetsies are going to have us just hanging out in the pool for a day or two.

We have toyed with the idea of Universal and IOA, Seaworld, Wet 'n Wild, Aquatica, and all of the others, but we don't know if we'll have the time, energy, or moolah in the end. We'll play it by ear.

My plan is to update this at night while we are recuperating, but we'll see how well that plan work out ;). Looking SO forward to sharing our very magical trip with y'all!!

04-15-2008, 10:59 AM
I'm so jealous that your trip is so close. I can't wait for mine on May 1!!! Your plans sound great. Here's my view on the waterparks. Everytime I go to Disney, I go to the water park. I get there around 9 AM and at about 1:30-2:00 I'm either exhausted and tired of being wet and sticky, or its going to thunder. They close the water parks (for obvious reasons) if it is going to thunder and lightning out. I would suggest visiting Typhoon lagoon and BB on different days, because of the risk of being to tired or possibly not even getting into the park because of thunder/lightning. Just my two cents though:)

04-15-2008, 11:06 AM
I can't wait to read what you actually do. I hope that no matter what you do, you have fun doing it!

04-16-2008, 06:13 AM
shordiebecka - you're most likely right. I'm now thinking of doing two days in the waterparks instead. Or maybe just choosing one. They always say, "if you miss it, you can come back" - well, we probably won't be able to for a long while, so I just want to enjoy it all while we're there. Even though that is most likely impossible, it's still so hard to just pick and choose!!

Yellowrose - Thanks! and we will have so much fun. That's why I love these guys, we always have fun with them. Even just playing board games turns into a big Laugh Fest!!!

04-19-2008, 06:22 AM
What a day, what a day!!! Last night I donít think that I slept hardly at all. I had work from 8:00 Ė 5:00 and then school from 5:30 to 8:15. Lori and Troy met us at my house in Topeka to stay the night and head out the next day to the airport. We stayed up way too long talking, but we knew that none of us would get any sleep at all! (Which at least Lori and I didnít)

The next morning it was up and at Ďem at 5:00 to get loaded and make it to the airport by 7:30. This was the beginning of a much longer day than planned. Our 9:15 flight was delayed until 11:30, then 1:15, then 2:00. After the second delay, we promptly headed to the bar! Havenít even left the state and ended up with a $60 bar tab! Memo to self Ė no drinks at airports. WAY over priced!!

At the airport
Troy and Lori



We played rummy on the floor for awhile but got to talking to a little boy sitting next to us. He was also going to Disney World. We asked him what his favorite ride was Ė Barnstormer!! He also said that he loves Disney World but hates Florida!! Crazy little guy. We got him some markers and paper and next thing you know we are running a daycare!! I think that we had three or four little girls and a boy or two occupied. We didnít mind it in the least because playing around with them was helping time go by soooo much faster.

Once the plane finally boarded it was smoothÖsomewhatÖsailing to Florida. It wasnít until we were about to land that I finally started to get excited. Until that point there was still so much that can go wrong. My family isnít known for itís good luck! Bad luck seems to nip at our heels.

Getting a car from Alamo took awhile, but I DEFINITELY paying for the car in advance. We just took our reservation information to a little kiosk and it printed out our reservation information and then you just go pick out your vehicle and stop on the way out to give them your information and car information. Simple as that! Absolutely NO LINES and trust me, you donít want to stand in the Alamo lines.

Quarters! EVERYONE needs quartersÖunless you are going on the Magical Express. Be prepared to stop every coupla miles or so to toss out two or three quarters for tolls. We didnít mind in the least, we left 45 degree weather to mid 70ís AND we had a new found appreciation for non-cancelled flights, so we were just happy to have arrived.

We were a little nervous about making our ADRís at Boma though. Our handy little GPS works wonders down here (Navigon 5100). I figured that with a group of directionally challenged individuals, it was worth it to spend an extra $250 to ensure smooth sailing through the vacation. Donít worry, we made it in plently of time. We walked around outside and looked at the GORGEOUS grounds. We (Lori and I) wiggled and jumped up and down the whole time screetching something along the lines of DISSSSNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYY! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeayyyyyyyy! Whoohooo!

Matt at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Looking at the animals http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20One/P1010500.jpg

The animals we were looking at

After so many months of planning, seeing any part of Disney was such a memorable feeling. It was such a mixture of pure giddiness mixed with moments of silent awe. And the Animal Kingdom is one heck of a place to kick it off!

Boma was pretty good. I loved the prime rib and the salmon but I never realized how picky of eaters we all are! We loved the dťcor but I donít think that we are African cuisine enthusiasts. But it was worth it just to get to take a peek around the lodge and hear the story tellers outside. Also Ė we arrived about 45 minutes earlier than our ADR and were seated within 15. We checked in at a booth upstairs and there was no line. Downstairs however there was a substantial line and a bit of pandemonium. Just take your little blinder to the front of the line and in you go!!

Afterwards, we just couldnít take it anymore. I had compulsively bought a ticket with more days than we need, so we decided to spend the last hour of the day at Hollywood Studios. We spent it all walking against the massive crowd of the fireworks show and standing in the queue. It took only 40 minutes to get to the ride though, which I think is a small miracle!

LOVED the ride. I had forgotten how cool it was. Iíll have to post the picture of us on it. I canít believe how silly we looked so I HAD to buy it. Go aheads , laugh, we all did!

Door made of marbles at the Rockin Roller Coaster
After that, the park was shutting down, so we were off to find our vacation house. It is about 9 miles from the parks to the house, so not too bad, but whew!! What a house! Itís huge and gorgeous, and did I mention that I donít have to fight anyone for parking or the pool. I really wanted to stay on Disney property to really get the Disney experience, but after stepping foot in here, I realized how much more comfortable it will be having all the amenities of home Ė so amazing. Iíll post some pictures later.

After discovering and unpacking and trying (mostly in vain) to figure out the pool door alarms, it was time for bed. Everyone else has all passed out and here I am typing away!! I must say, you could feel six or sixty, but everyone gets the same look in their eyes when they walk in. Iím already dreading the day that we go home 

Tomorrow I have planned Animal Kingdom and pleasure island. But after the long last two days, Iím thinking that Pleasure Island might just have to wait!!


04-19-2008, 08:19 AM
How fun! I am enjoying your report. I hope today brings you lots of Disney Suprises! :)

04-19-2008, 04:39 PM
Love the pics:) It's great to see them right along with your trip report. I know you will have a wonderful time. Enjoy it for all of us.

04-20-2008, 05:12 AM
Definatly loving your trip report so far! Hope all is still going well :)

04-20-2008, 08:18 PM
Here's the pictures that I promised!

And our car! I love this vehicle, I want to get one.

Day Two – Animal Kingdom

We slept in until nine and took our time getting around. We stayed up pretty late last night enjoying the weather and the outdoors. I can’t believe how nice it is down here!!

We set out to get the rental agreement to the rental company. Evidently they had just moved their offices right before we got down here and are still in the process of getting situated. We got to the shopping center that they are located in and looked for their office. They didn’t have any signs up so we found the suite number and started our search. We finally found it, but they were closed. We decided to head home and give them a call to let them know that we weren’t skipping out on the agreement.

After that we stopped at Wal-Mart, grabbed some Taco Bell and headed out to the park. We arrived a little after noon.

Picture with Flick on our way into the park.

First stop – fast passes at Expedition Everest!! Asia seems really crowded and it was really hard to maneuver through the crowds. The rest of the park didn’t seem to have that problem, though.

Then it was off to Dino-Land. We walked through their carnival area and the Primevil Swirl line was at 10 minutes so we decided to ride it. I was surprised at how fun that little ride actually was! After that we decided to hit up Dinosaur. I was excited for this one because I had seen previews on the Travel Channel. Troy and Lori didn’t know what to expect though. The line was only 30 minutes. I now know that a little planning goes a long way in a Disney trip as I expect that at other times of the year, a 30 minutes wait is almost unheard of!

In line for Dinosaur.

We loved it! At this ride I really started notice line jumpers. The queues for the lines are so wide that this girl behind us constantly kept trying to get ahead of us. It’s not that I would have minded the extra wait – not a big deal – it’s how inconsiderate it is! I have also noticed that the decorations and displays along the line really make the wait go by a lot faster.

We all loved the ride and were headed off to see It’s Tough To Be A Bug. That show was so cute and all of the special effects (water spraying, the seats moving, air bursts) really made the cartoon lifelike!

On the way in we noticed that the last Kilimanjaro Safari left at 7:00 so we headed over to see that. The wait on this ride was also half an hour. Yet again there were line jumpers. Troy and Lori walked ahead of us and Matt and I behind. There were times when the line would break and we would really move forward and these girls would get in front of Matt every time and each time Matt would have to squeeze between them to get back up with us. Eventually they got way ahead of us, but it didn’t get them too far as they were only on the truck in front of us. Why people can’t patiently wait is beyond me.

But, enough with the griping! I was so amazed by safari! I wasn’t expecting the ride to be so long – not that I am complaining at all. There were so many gorgeous animals in close to their natural habitat that it was hard not to be amazed by it. I think that this may have been Lori’s favorite part as she is a huge animal lover.

Photos of the animals.

He seemed to be happy to see us all - hahaha!


04-20-2008, 08:19 PM
And the biggest animals of all:


We have a ton more, but it would be the longest trip report ever if I put them on here! After we got back from safari ( lol) we got some pretzels and headed over to catch our time for fast passes. The line wait was 20 minutes when we showed up but quickly changed to 30 and then 40. The fast pass line though was really short! There wasn’t many big drops or anything, but the ride was fun! When we got off we noticed that it only took us 8 minutes to enter the ride and get off.

Finally, we had saved Kali River Rapids for last as we knew that we would be soaked! At the entrance to the ride, an older gentleman and his grandson were leaving – completely soaked mind you. He stopped and chatted with us saying that he had rode it 3 times too many and that they were chilly. People like this more than make up for the line jumpers. You can genuinely pick up a conversation with so many people and enjoy each others company! If you tried to do this outside of the park, people would probably think that you were on drugs.

We were put in a boat with a really fun family. The little girl across from us started crying at the first blast of water. She was really trying to enjoy herself though. At one point the dad asked her if she was having fun and she nodded even though she was pouting and on the verge of tears. What an adorable little trooper. When we were getting off we were told that if we wanted to ride again to just take a u-turn and get back on the boats, that’s how little of a wait there was.

We were about to head home when we all decided that we had to ride Everest one more time. The stand by line probably took only 20 minutes and I am glad that we did it because there were so many cool artifacts and such along the line.

We stopped for shopping, but little else. Troy was disappointed that the ice cream cone stand was closed. We got back to the car and realized that we were completely exhausted and not up to Pleasure Island. We instead stayed in, ordered Chinese and played Uno and laughed about the fact that we would rather do that than go partying!

That’s the end of today, but tomorrow is Epcot and possibly Pleasure Island.

04-21-2008, 08:42 AM
sigh-where are you when I am stuck in the airport with two preschoolers-how nice of you! I bet those parents loved you guys. Keep having fun and telling us about it-I am in NW Canada and we got two feet of SNOW this w/e-I am so jealous of your weather now!

04-21-2008, 03:38 PM
Sounds like you are having a great trip. :) Makes me want to go again and we have only been home from our trip for a little over a month! Can't wait to read more. :)

04-21-2008, 05:39 PM
wonderful report! I'm loving every minute and can't wait to hear more!!! August seems so far away right now...

04-21-2008, 05:58 PM
Awesome report and pictures. The house looks amazing that u guys were lucky enough to be able to stay at.

04-22-2008, 12:21 PM
Fantastic report so far!! I love that you've included the pictures. It really brings the report to life! Keep it coming!!

04-23-2008, 07:08 AM
Epcot day! We got up late…again. I decided that we have had this pool for so long that I decided to use it. It was a little chilly because we didn’t get pool heat, but darnit – if you have a house with a pool you HAVE to use it!

Us at the front of the park. http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010637.jpg

We parked at Magic Kingdom and took the monorail over to Epcot. We had a dream granted to us and it wasn’t from the Dream Squad. We got in the monorail and when we got out we noticed some fastpasses on the seat for Test Track. There were four of them and they were active in a hour. We went in and noticed that fast passes return time were almost around closing time and the standby wait was almost over an hour!! It was special that someone left those on there for another group since they weren’t going to use them.

Matt "holding up" Spaceship Earth

We started in Innoventions and played the game to find fire hazards. We were on two separate teams so we wanted to beat them! We were running around like kids trying to find all the fire hazards and get the better score. After time was up we went back to the front to see our scores. They said that their team had an amazing score of 11,000. Lori jumped up and down and was so excited to win. Then they said that since there score was so good that our score was awesome because we had 13,000!! My turn to jump up and down!

An awesome sand sculpture outside of Spaceship Earth. http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010643.jpg

We scanned the building for a while and were on our way to Mission Space. On the way I found the Edy’s ice cream store. Troy had been wanting a shake all day. He started to run for it, turned around grabbed Lori, literally, and were off! Disney World truly does turn you into a kid. We made the comment that we felt like kids on vacation with no parents.

We sipped our drinks and waited to go on Mission Space. The wait time SAID twenty minutes but it only took about 10-15. Matt wanted to take the orange track (the most spinning). I was a little worried because I hadn’t taken my Dramamine and the last vacation I got a little tummy sick after a spinning ride. And they tell you five different times or so that if you get motion sickness that you shouldn’t ride.

They give you parts to play before you get on the ride. Lori was the Commander, I was the Pilot, Matt was the Navigator, and Troy was the Engineer. We were teasing that if Troy was our Engineer that we were going to go down. It is amazing how really that ride feels. They must have some amazing technology. AND – no sickness, so it was a good ride.

After that, we ran over to Test Track. I thought that it looked cooler on the television than it was in person. Don’t get me wrong, it was still really fun, but I would rather have ridden Mission Space again – it was so fun.

We went through the Butterfly Garden, that’s a really good place to go in and look. An AWESOME place to take pictures.

Here's the cocoons. The front ones were shaking, so they were about to hatch. http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010650.jpg

The butterflies were so pretty. http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010660.jpg

I had wings! http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010665.jpg

"Give me a hug Lori" "I'm trying to Minnie!" http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010666.jpg

04-23-2008, 07:10 AM
Then we rode Spaceship Earth. That one was pretty cool. On the way in, they show your face and take a picture. Make a funny face and it makes the animations at the end even more hilarious.

We walked around a little and it was really windy and so we watched the huge fountain in the center spray people. They’d squeal and jump. Then it was off to see Soarin’. The wait was over an hour so we went the The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The wait there was only 10 minutes. It was really cute.

The jellyfish in TurtleTalk http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010673-1.jpg

Ahhh! http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010676.jpg


We walked around the World Showcase and looked in the shops. We stopped to get a funnel cake. It was Matt’s request on this vacation. And then we waited to see the fireworks show. It was awesome. The monorail back to the Magic Kingdom was so packed! Lori and I were giggling the entire way back because we were pressed to the door. Then it was back to the house and to the bed.

The globe at night http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010704.jpg

The night fireworks. http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Two/Disney%20Day%20Three/P1010716.jpg

All in all, it was a fun day. And any day on vacation is better than a day at work.

04-23-2008, 09:01 AM
I love reading your trip report! You sound like you are having so much fun!

I can't wait until we go for our trip!

04-23-2008, 12:33 PM
yep! This is a great report! Thanks for posting!

04-25-2008, 01:26 PM
Haven't updated in awhile! Been having too much fun I guess. I am at DisneyQuest right now. This place is awesome! I'll update soon. Just wanted to let you know that I'm not dead! lol


04-26-2008, 07:19 AM
We got up late…again. Boy that’s nice!! I love not having to get up and rush off to a park!

We got to Hollywood Studios at around 2:30. We went almost directly to Hollywood Tower of Terror. I don’t get too freaked out over roller coasters, but I don’t like the ones where they either shoot you straight up or drop you straight down. It isn’t so much the drops or shoots, it’s the anticipation that worries me!

Then we got fastpasses to come back and headed over for the Lights Motors Action show. We didn’t get over there in time. They were just closing the front when we got there. I was disappointed, but that is something that we can look forward to on another trip.

We decided to ride the rides on the way back. First, we stopped at the Muppets 3-D show. It was basically a walk on. I thought that it was really cute and I liked it a lot. The only thing I can say is that the It’s Tough to Be a Bug 3-D show was way more high tech, though. So I think we all liked that one more.
The old guys!! (our favorite) http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Four/P1010737.jpg

We were all amazed by their huge paintings of buildings, especially the road up the hill. Then it was off to the Star Wars Ride. It was fun on the way in to stop and watch the kids becoming Jedis. This ride was also a walk on and there were even spaces left open on the ride! The ride itself was fun. It’s so hilarious to ride rides with Lori because she just giggles the entire time! http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i197/heather_p_ksu/Disney%20Day%20Four/P1010738.jpg

After that we noticed that our fast passes already ran out. We didn’t really feel the need to go see anything else at Hollywood so made the decision to go ahead and go to Downtown Disney for DisneyQuest.

I don’t think that I would be lying if I said that all of us were gamers. We all love video games. So DisneyQuest was awesome! The elevator ride was really neat, but I just wanted to go play games!! We went down to the first level and played the Jungle Cruise game. Lori got a little soaked. But I highly recommend that game!

Then we went to Aladdin’s Flying Carpets. I loved it all except for my helmet sat hard on my nose and now my nose hurts. The fun part was looking side to side and seeing the other people in our group look back as monkeys. It was kind of creepy yet really fun.
Then we ran downstairs to ride the Pirate’s of the Carribean. That was my favorite. You run around this boat and shoot other Pirate ships. At the end we won and were jumping up and down and cheering and then we noticed the people waiting to come in watching…oops!

We just played some regular video games for awhile and then we made a roller coaster. They aren’t as bad as it looks, so I recommend putting in just as many loops as possible because it will just spin you over and over!
After that we were all kind of tired so we went to go find somewhere to eat. I recommend putting in reservations before you go eat because the Rainforest Cafť was at an hour and a half wait. We went and ate at Wolfgang Puck’s Express. The Pizzas were GOOD! I had something else, but I nabbed some of Matt’s.

We stopped on at the customer service shop to get Lori a First Visit button and we made the decision to go into the Disney store. We didn’t realize how huge it was. We got separated and had to look for each other for at least half an hour. After that we were exhausted and decided to head home.

We saw legos on the way out so we quickly went through that store and then made it out to the parking lot and off to home.

04-27-2008, 12:54 PM
This vacation has been really fun, but let me tell ya, a Disney World vacation is super exhausting. We were all dragging so we decided to take a day off instead of going to the water parks today.

One place that I really wanted to try was Joe's Crab Shack. For years I saw people coming back from Florida with tee shirts from there and I really wanted one. So we set the GPS and were off.

It was so nice to just sit and relax and enjoy our meal, which y the way was super delicious. The only thing that would have made it better was if they had had shrimp scampi. Lori and Troy whined over that, but all in all it was a really good meal.

After I picked out a tee shirt, it was off to WalMart and a liquor store for provisions. We stopped at a liquor store to get some rum for bahama mama's for the girls and Jack Daniels for the boys. While at Walmart we got some random stuff and we also picked up Apples to Apples. After that, we stopped on the way home for some fruit for the Bahama Mamas.

Apples to Apples is a really fun game that Matt and I have played with his family a lot and always wanted to get for the house. So we got home, mixed up some drinks and played for awhile. We laughed so much and just gave ourselves some time to recuperate.

No pictures from this day :( but it was really what we needed to be energized for the next day, as it was probably going to be our longest. Pirates and Princess Party!!

05-02-2008, 05:49 AM
It's good to have a day off in the middle of the trip. Pacing yourself is the key! Good for you to relax. Apples to Apples is so much fun!

Glad you're having such a great time!

05-10-2008, 08:11 PM
Hey - sorry for the long disappearance. I guess that I didn't plan the vacation the best because when we landed I got dropped directly into finals time :(

Anywho, one of my final projects was to create a webpage, so I made one over our trip. I know how they hate when you do this, but I wanted to keep you updated, and the info is already online!




05-15-2008, 05:25 AM
Wow, you guys had a ball. It was so neat to read how friends can have a great time together in Disney. We take our family vacation with friends also. We have the best times!!

Thanks for the trip report I really enjoyed it.