What's My Age Again? A whirlwind WDW birthday TR! UPDATED 12/10

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by dolewhipdreams, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today

    Hello and welcome to this, the most magical of places.

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    My name is Ann and I’ve decided to bless you with an account of what is undoubtedly the absolute best birthday I have ever had. Due to an interesting turn of events, I was unexpectedly placed very near the Mouse Kingdom directly before my 26th birthday weekend. Since you’re on the DIS it should come as no surprise to you that I did my absolute best to spend said weekend at my favorite place on the planet.

    Was I successful? Stay tuned to find out…..

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    [But yeah I mean of course I was successful. I wouldn’t write a TR about a failed attempt to visit Disney World]

    First off, the ever-so-important introduction!

    Like I said, my name is Ann. If you’ve read any of my TRs or PTRs before (if you haven’t, check them out in my signature! Please! Validation of my worth as a human being depends on it!) then you’ll know that I’m an engineer from the Midwest with a passion for crafting life-changing vacations. When I’m not engineering I’m daydreaming (read: creating spreadsheets) about my next Disney trips. Heck sometimes I’m doing it while I’m engineering.

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    Other things I have a passion for: parentheses, dole whips (duh), strong female role models, and the stuffed yetis outside Expedition Everest.

    Anyway enough about me, let’s get on with the show! (that’s a joke because this entire TR is about me)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
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  2. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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  4. Newsies

    Newsies Headlines don't sell papes.

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    Following! Excited to read this!!
     
  5. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Joining in!
     
  6. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    Hello to you both and thank you for joining me on this trip down memory lane!
     
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  7. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    There ain’t nothing gonna stop me now cause I’m almost there

    As I mentioned in the intro, a series of events led me near Orlando in the two weeks leading up to my 26th birthday. I work for a manufacturing company that needed assistance at our Charleston facility to start up some new equipment. I signed up to help for two weeks (holla for a free trip to Charleston) in early October. Due to some setbacks (and by setbacks I mean hurricanes) the project was delayed and I didn’t arrive until the 12th.

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    [King Triton or climate change? Guess we’ll never know…]

    At this point I was kind of playing around with the idea of trying to make it down to Orlando when I was done but I wasn’t sold. However, the work trip was 14 straight 11-12 hour days with no days off (my “free trip” to Charleston ended up being a free trip to see nothing but our plant and my hotel room for two weeks). By day 4 I knew that I needed a trip to WDW to look forward to or I wasn’t going to make it.

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    [When heat and exhaustion turn channel locks into puppets]

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    [Humming “I’m Almost There” to myself while collapsing into my hotel bed every night]

    So I dove in and started looking for a room! Anything in my price range on-site was already taken but I was able to get a room at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista at Disney Springs. Honestly I would have pitched a tent in the woods if it meant getting to be in the Magic Kingdom on my birthday. But the Wyndham was good too, what with its walls and AC.

    I already had my AP renewed and the only other thing I needed was a rental car to get down there! I decided to drive instead of fly because it was only a 6 hour drive and flights at that point were ridiculously expensive.

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    [Southwest be like]

    My plan was to leave early that Friday morning, drive down in time for MNSSHP, then fly out Sunday evening. After a few more crazy days of working on the project I realized that I was going to need one more Disney day, so I extended my trip to fly out Monday evening instead. This meant that I was going to be away from home for 19 straight days but I thought it was worth it. My husband was a little bummed but he survived :P

    So now with a light at the end of the tunnel I made it through the rest of my assignment. At last my final day ended and I dreamt Disney dreams knowing that I was off to my favorite place the next morning.

     
  8. absolutmey

    absolutmey planning epic 2020 trip!

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    following along! sounds great :)
     
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  9. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sure sounds like you deserved that Disney getaway after working so hard!!
     
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  10. Newsies

    Newsies Headlines don't sell papes.

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    "But Wyndham is good too, what with it's walls and AC."

    Love your sense of humor and love the start!! Excited for more!!
     
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  11. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

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    I've definitely done the same thing before! I used to work for an audit firm that would send me to Miami for an inventory count in December. And I would always make my way up to Orlando to hit up Disney and see all things Christmas! I'm sure it was worth any and all costs to have that one thing to look forward to!
     
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  12. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    Thanks for joining in!

    That's definitely how I justified it to my husband :P

    Hopefully I can keep you giggling. Making people laugh is one of the joys of life :D

    Oh my gosh sooooo worth it! And honestly since I used credit card points for the hotel and already had an AP, the cost really wasn't bad at all! How cool that you were able to get to Miami so regularly! I'm hoping my company buys/acquires a facility in Florida somewhere soon hehe
     
  13. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    ALSO: love your blog! Just followed you on insta <3
     
  14. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    Directions? Where we’re going we don’t need directions.

    The Friday of my birthday weekend I woke up oh so ready to go! I put on my comfy clothes, checked out, and started my 6 hour drive to Orlando.

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    [Solo travel means not having to worry about embarrassing your husband with your choice of road trip clothes and headwear. Gotta keep them curls safe!]

    I made it in really good time! Time sure passes quickly when you’re belting out Disney tunes to an empty car… But truly I was impressed with myself because I usually have to stop a lot but I ended up only stopping twice and drove straight through lunch. Besides, I didn’t want to waste precious tummy space on normal food when I knew special spoopy food was in my future.

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    [Plus who needs lunch when you have MICKEY GOLDFISH?! The perfect Disney road trip snack IMO]

    Pulling into Disney Springs after the road trip was absolutely magical. After checking in, I quickly threw my things on the bed and started getting ready for MNSSHP. Thankfully my room was ready at 1:30 when I got there, otherwise I was fully prepared to get ready in the lobby bathrooms :D

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    Next came the part I was totally not prepared for: driving in WDW. I’ve only been on one trip to WDW where we didn’t rely on Disney transportation, and that was when my whole family went right after I graduated high school. My dad did the driving and in my memory it went fine.

    Fast forward 8 years and I’m on my own and armed with a GPS that desperately wants to take me to the Magic Kingdom bus stop instead of the TTC. Not only that, but it was leading me on weird back roads instead of the main ones. It only took a short time for me to get pretty lost.

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    [We have to go back…then turn right at the stop light and take the first u-turn and follow signs for Magic Kingdom]

    I made it all the way to the Contemporary before I realized that I wasn’t going where I needed to. Thankfully the kind CM at the Contemporary security booth gave me fantastic directions and let me turn around. Also thankfully, a tram was just pulling up as I got out of my car at the parking lot. Thank you, timely tram driver.

    My first stop was guest services to activate my AP. It was an especially exciting activation because it was my first DVC AP! But I totally spaced on getting a membership card for the trip. The CM let me just log in on my phone to show my membership, so it all worked out.

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    [This is probably the most used gif in my life]

    Just a few minutes later I was seated in the monorail and on my way to MNSSHP!

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  15. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Sounds like a smooth drive to Disney! Can't wait to hear about the party :)
     
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  16. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    It was surprisingly smooth...like so smooth that I'm thinking about moving to Charleston since I know how easy it is to get to WDW :earboy2:
     
  17. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

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    Honestly, in Disney you're usually better off just reading their signs rather than GPS for that reason! My family has never used the buses so I had to learn early on how to navigate around Disney, especially because my Dad got lazy after a while and would just depend on me to tell him when to turn right or left! haha
     
  18. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    That's what my plan was once I figured out how to get out of Disney Springs but then my GPS took me to those back roads and there were no signs for the parks! Just different backstage stuff like warehouses and offices. Luckily I figured it out eventually :P
     
  19. Cloe Colton

    Cloe Colton DIS Veteran

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    Hahaha I think my Dad took those back roads one too many times and that was why I started paying attention! :rotfl: He used to always try to go out the way he came in for MK resorts which would always bring us out by those warehouses and such!
     
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  20. dolewhipdreams

    dolewhipdreams Counting days until my next Dole Whip

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    The gentlemen want the rum, don’t ya boys?

    Practically bouncing with excitement, I hopped off the monorail and headed to the MNSSHP entrance lines, which were not too long at about 3:50. Throughout the drive and monorail ride over I was watching the clouds come in, worried it would rain.

    You see, my very first MNSSHP was last year and it rained almost the whole time. A lot of stuff was cancelled and there was so much I didn’t do because I was trying to stay dry. And now rain clouds were rolling in again!

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    [Me willing the clouds to go back to where they came from]

    I was almost under the awning of the tapstiles and what did I feel upon my head? A drop of rain. And then another. And then…well you know how rain works.

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    So I squeezed myself under cover, got through the tapstiles and got my umbrella out. Now at this point it was only sprinkling, but I was certain it would turn into a deluge at any moment.

    Determined not to let myself turn into a mopey David Tennant, I got in line for one thing I knew would cheer me up- someone taking a picture of me.

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    And lo and behold, it stopped sprinkling as I was in line! So the “rain” lasted all of ten minutes. I put my umbrella away and went down the bypass for more photos and some candy.


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    After that I went down Main Street to soak in some #vibes and get some more PhotoPass pictures.

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    Then it was time for my first ride! I had booked some FPs once I knew I was coming down. I missed the first one, which was to meet Rapunzel, but I wasn’t too upset. I knew I’d probably meet her later anyway. So I wandered into Tomorrowland and went on a high speed thrill ride in the dark.

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    [Do you know how awkward it is to ride this ride in any kind of skirt? Now imagine doing it with a crinoline underneath]

    Once I got out from the ridiculously long walkway, all the clouds were gone! It was turning into a beautiful evening (but freakin hot. I should have thought about that before wearing a wool hat and a petticoat. But alas #fashion).

    At this point my lack of lunch was catching up to me. Woman cannot live on Mickey goldfish alone, and my belly was calling for more carbs. Most of the food I wanted wouldn’t be out until the party started, so I stopped at Friar’s Nook to get some loaded tots.

    Enter what might be one of my favorite WDW snacks: Pub Tots

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    Potato? Check. Bacon? Check. PLASTIC CHEESE? Ohhh you better CHECK.

    Sitting down to eat these was actually an awesome moment (and not just because I was feeding myself three of the foods that healthy people tell you not to eat). It was the first moment I allowed myself to reflect on where I was at, which was the Magic Kingdom (fave place in the world) for Halloween (LOVE Disney Halloween) by myself (my favorite state of being, if we’re honest). So I sat and ate my pub tots and people watched international tourists (one girl was napping on her boyfriend/husband/friend’s should and it was precious) and just let myself be happy.

    Nutritionally and emotionally satisfied, I wandered through Fantasyland and made my way to Adventureland for my other FP, which was for Pirates!

    I realize now I probably should have explained this before, but my costume was a dapper Disneybound of Redd the pirate from the new auction scene. Very obscure, but it’s what I could find on Amazon. And it turns out a few people caught on, so there ya go.

    Anyway, I wanted to ride POTC because I was dressed like my girl, Redd. While in line, one of the CMs came over and asked if I happened to be Disneybounding as one of the characters on the ride and I was like

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    Then he told me about all the new Redd merch they had in the gift shop. Bless him.

    My ride was really annoying. Not anything to do with the ride, but absolutely everything to do with the two talkative girls sitting right behind me who chatted loudly through the entire ride. Seriously the only time they stopped talking was to scream because they weren’t aware there was a drop.

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    [LOOK! Photographic evidence of their endless conversation]

    After the ride I went and looked at the Redd merch that the CM had mentioned. Loungefly had a really cute print for bags/wallets that I seriously considered getting but ended up not (although there’s a real good chance I buy one on my next trip).

    Next it was time for something I would end up doing so very much of during this trip: wandering. Usually when I visit WDW I tend not to wonder. I like to have a plan and follow the plan. Well I didn’t really have a plan for this trip aside from show up and have a great time. But because I was free from the obligation of making sure my traveling partner(s) were having a good time, I wandered to my hearts content. I people-watched, I took photos, I browsed shops… It was fantastic.
     
  21. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    Your costume is adorable! I'm glad the rain didn't last very long. Lots of cute PP pics!!
     

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