Star Wars * Flower & Garden * Link added 10/10/09
Hello everyone. My name is Tammy. I'm a homeschool mom/photographer. I'm married to the biggest Disney lover in the World, Sidney. We've been together for over 12 years and married for eleven of them. This is us in June 2009!
We have three wonderful kids who also love Disney. For privacy reasons we will give them Disney names. :goodvibes
From left to right we have Dash, Bolt, & Gabriella. Why those names you ask? Well DD is in love with Troy from HSM & his girlfriend is Gabriella so...she chose that one. People have called my oldest DS Dash ever since The Incredible's came out and it is fitting. He even looks like him sometimes. My youngest DS loves Bolt! (And he is known for "bolting" from time to time so again it's very fitting in more ways than one!)
We go to Disney as much as we can. In September of 2008 we became passholders and we have worn those babies out! WDW is 8-9 hours away depending on fast you drive and how often you stop but we're so used to the drive now...it doesn't even bother us anymore. We usually plan the details of the next trip on our way to and from the one we're currently on. I know...we're crazy for going so much but that's what the five of us like to do! I don't know that we could ever get tired of it. :goodvibes
The current trip you're about to go on with us was May 19th-25th. This trip was a total surprise to our kids and we kept it a secret 'til we were entering the WDW entrance! (Thank goodness they took a nap before we hit Orlando!) We would have been busted. :lmao: Dash is a huge fan of anything Star Wars and really wanted to go to Star Wars Weekends but we told him our passes were blacked out during those dates. (I had to you guys...we wanted it to be a surprise!) We were there in March for my birthday and the Flower & Garden festival was about to start. We saw a few of the topiaires and I told Sidney we had to go back next year so we could see everything. He agreed. Well, we started looking at dates for next years F & G festival and it looked as if it would not cross paths with SWW so we said NOW IS THE TIME! Let's do it! We scored All Star Sports for $64 a night with our PH rate so we booked 5 nights. Well, as always at the last minute he said he'd like to stay 6 or 7 nights. The values were not available but Coronado Springs was. We got it for $98 a night and added the quick service dining plan. We lucked out and got a newly refurbished room and boy were they nice! I've stayed in or have seen nearly every resort in WDW and these rooms top them all! I told Sidney I want to redo our room to look like those!
This is where we spent the majority of our vacation...
This is where we finished it off!
I was able to meet three Disfriends on this trip and I loved them all! They were a blast to hang out with and I wish I could have spent more time with them. Gabriella too. She loved all the little girls close to her age. :cutie: The rain messed up a lot of our plans. It rained every single day! I have never in my life seen so much rain! We didn't let it bring us down though. We had a lot of fun despite the rain and if anything it brought even more memories that will last a lifetime!
In case you are new to my trip reports I'll give you a little background on us. I'll go back to 2006...that's far enough. Our trips went a little like this...
June 2006 ~ A visit with my cousin and her niece at AKL & CSR. A tropical storm was hitting FL at the time so the place was dead! Even that didn't drop as much rain as our May '09 visit! We stayed for a week and only did a couple of Disney parks. We spent most of our time hanging out at Universal since we were going back for free dining in August.
August 2006 ~ Our first experience with the free dining plan. OMG it was so good back then. This was before the kids meals became grouped. Back then the kids could order an appetizer and dessert off of the adult menu too! It was so flipping cool! Gratuity was also included. I miss that dining plan! I'm pretty sure the max amount of days then was 10 so that's what we booked. We added an extra night though so we'd be there the morning our package started. This was also our first visit to the brand new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! Gabriella was 4 years old and she was so tickled to get her makeover! It was $35 back then! (We bought her costume seperate because we got a 10% discount with our Disney Visa...it ended up a lot cheaper.) When we went to get the pictures made they gave me the photo package! I thought that was a pretty good deal! Now I think it starts at $55!? (And it's nowhere near as magical...we've been 5 times....trust me, I know!) Each time it slacks a little more.
December 2006 ~ We stayed at Ft Wilderness in the cabins & All Star Movies. This was a total last minute trip. We were eating at the Crab House and said, "I wish we were able to go to the Christmas party." Sidney took a "bathroom" break and came back with the most wonderful CM ever. He had scored us the Wilderness cabins for a little over $150. I can't remember the amount exact now and the first two nights of 5 we were at All Star Movies...I think that was $39 a night! This guy was awesome!!! Both me and DD did BBB together on this trip and we had so much fun!
January 2007 ~ Yep...just a few days later we went back to WDW again. Sidney had a client that needed some work done in Tampa and well, you know how close Tampa is to WDW and the first ever Pirate Princess Party was about to begin! We ended up doing the first two parties! They were so much fun. We met Joy and Jesse anf the kids....OMG it was the best time ever for all of them! For this trip we stayed at Pop for 6 nights. Maybe 7. I can't remember now.
August 2007 ~ Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Riverside, and Pop Century! This was the longest WDW for us yet. 17 nights! 12 nights on the free dining plan and yes...it was still pretty good then too. Not as good as in '06 but still adults got the appetizers and gratuity was included. We did the PPP again. BBB. All kinds of stuff. If you want to take a look at my first ever trip report it recaptures some of these trips mentioned above. Here is the link to those...
We're back from WDW ~ 11 days of Fun Fun Fun!! (August '07 & before)
Includes trips from June, August, & December '06, Jan '07 PPP, and August '07...includes vintage Disney pics too! Discovery Island + River Country!
August/September 2008 ~ Polynesian Magic Kingdom View & Pop Century were the resorts this time. The trip was August 28th - September 7th. I met a lot of Disers on this trip too! It was sooooo much fun. We went to our very first MNSSHP (which was fantastic)...the kids did the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party at the Grand Floridian. Gabby did BBB again. Dash was picked to fight Darth Vader and Jack Sparrow! The kids rode the Goofy coaster with Goofy and the Teacups with the Mad Hatter. This was a truly magical trip! This trip report is packed with food pictures....fun things to do...you name it it's probably in there! :goodvibes This was our first time upgrading free dining to deluxe dining too! It was awesome! We were able to try out a bunch of new places and the dinner shows...this was one of the best trips ever! If you want to check that one out here's the link...
Why is there a Disney waiter at my door!?
December 2008 ~ Our first "Magical Grand Gathering" with Katie and Ryan! More wonderful friends we met via the Dis! We didn't have plans to return for a while but when they sent us a pin for free dining we had to! I just could not turn down FREE DINING at Christmas time! Hello!? So I booked and we brought along my mom, dad, and sister too! We had a blast! We stayed at Pop for this one too. I always stay at a value for free dining! Otherwise, what's the point? That's how you get a deal. Yes, I love a good deal! I live for them! We went to the Christmas party with Katie and Ryan...met a ton of characters dressed up for the Holidays...went on the DVC tour and so much more! This one is packed full of pictures!
March 2009 ~ Well, we had the AP's now and they were itching to be used. Then the 4/3 came out and we were taking a newbie with us so we booked in her name. We spent 8 crazy nights at various resorts. Wilderness Lodge, All Star Movies, and Pop! That was by far the funniest Disney trip I've ever been on! I laughed so hard...OMG. It was so funny! That trip report is a good read too and it's all wrapped up in one TR with the December trip as well. Check them out! You wont be sorry! BTW I'm still working on the March report. I have two more days to go! And March was my birthday and Anniversary trip too! I got the $75 gift card and spent it all on the kids. :laughing: Here's the link to the last two trips...
3/4-3/12 Wilderness Lodge, Thongs, Celebrities, Birthday fun, & River Country too!
My very first trip to WDW was in 1982! Epcot had just opened and at the time I hated that place. (It's my second favorite park now...lol) Sidney's first trip to Disney was in 1997 after we first got together. The castle was a huge birthday cake that year! :rotfl: I still think it's sad that he grew up 6 ours from WDW and his parents never took him and his brother! All of my kids went in utero and within the first couple of months of life. We've always gone at least once a year. This year is for sure breaking a 365 day record. I'll say that.
We have two more trips planned for 2009. In August we are doing a Grand Gathering with Colleen (Goofy22) and Christine (DisneyQuilter)! My sister and her friend Chimere will be going too. We're doing deluxe dining again and we're trying out a bunch of new places. I am so excited about this trip! I can not wait to meet these girls and their families. I just know we'll be instant BFF's for the rest of our lives!
In December we are going again! This time we'll be at Ft Wilderness again. We'll be meeting Heather (hlrababy), Farrah (heath-and-javens-mom), Amanda (bentleygirl22) and a few other Diser's then! Hopefully Jen (Mom2Lindsey) will be coming and I hope to meet Jennifer (29apr00) & Jennifer (ethansmommy) too! If I'm forgetting anyone please remind me.
I have a pre trip report for both of those in one place if you'd like to check it out!
Here we go again & again ~ August + Nov/Dec '09
I think this covers our Disney history and introductions. I hope all of my old friends will join me and anyone new to my reports....please say hello! Thanks for stopping by and I'll get this baby started (for real) very soon! :thumbsup2
I can't wait to hear about your trip. I love Flower and Garden Festival, and DFi is a huge Star Wars fan.
My you are a busy DIS er. I spend the day at the girl's dance recital and come back to find you've started a new trip report! Great! I can't wait to read it.
I could have used you today at the dance recital. my photos can out terrible. I don't think the flash was bright enough for as far away as we were. but we'll eventually get the video and the studio photos, so that will have to do.
Can't wait to hear about DS Star Wars Weekend!
I am hereeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Whooo hoooo!!
Planning Jennys 5th birthday and post number 5!!!
I need ideas for a tinkerbell themed party...food?
I'm here!!! :woohoo:
Can't wait to meet you girls too!! We're going to have a blast!!! :yay::banana:
just signing on for the ride!
I'm here :goodvibes. Looking forward to hearing all about you May trip ;) though some of it I already know. Hoping you got some good SW weekend pics :goodvibes.
The 9 hour drive...
We usually wake up around 4 am and hit the road but this time I promised myself at least 5 hours of sleep. I woke up a little before 8:00 and we were on the road by 8:25. I don't know why but we wait until the very last minute to do anything and then we're sleepy all the way down. Not good and I refused to do it again!
As most of you know I live in South Carolina. I am along the coast but there are parts of SC we have to drive through to hit I 95 that aren't so much fun. The roads are littered with road kill and things like this.
Luckily today we were on the opposite side of the road as pappy, not behind him.
Once in a while you'll pass a gorgeous farm or huge estate out in the middle of nowhere...like these, and no that's not the house you see in the one pic. That's the helps garage! I was told this was the man who started Hooters home at one time. I think he has passed away but the wife still lives there. I don't know for sure but the place is massive. I tried to photograph the house but Sidney's head got in my way!
This is an old farm we pass and it's so pretty. It always looks so kept. I wish my house was built on that property but here where I live. That would be nice!
Meanwhile the kids are all excited. The older two thought we were heading to Atlanta for a Field Trip! They had picked out museums to visit and everything. I had to go along with it so we wouldn't blow the secret. I still can't believe we pulled it off! They had no clue they were going to Disney! :laughing:
You only stay on the back roads for about an hour, maybe less, 'til you hit 95. The it's a straight shot 'til you hit I 4! It's not so bad. I noticed that the clouds that morning looked like the mountains off in the distance. I felt like I was driving to the Mountain House instead of Disney.
I 95 baby!!!
Once I hit this road I know where I'm going! Walt Disney World! This is my sneaky look "self potrait".
We drive and we drive and we drive some more and then we stop at Goasis for a little Subway and a pee break. This place is so cool. You can pay for your gas WITH CASH there AT the pump! That's the only time I've ever seen a place that allows that. The gas is always cheap here too. (Exit 29 in GA) They have a Subway, Burger King, and I think one more place inside that you can eat at. The bathrooms are super clean too. They have a family bathroom and it's such a cute bathrooom I had to share with you guys. :lmao:
The minute we hit FL the weather turned to this!
At one point it was raining so hard you couldn't see 5 feet in front of you. It was awful. We saw wreck after wreck. I wish I had pulled the camera out now. They were stupid wrecks. People just being careless but still. They were everywhere which slowed down the traffic and caused us to creep like turtles once we entered the Orlando area. (And the wrecks were on the opposite side of the street!) :rolleyes1
The kids were readin when we passed the FLORIDA sign so they missed it. RIght before Jacksonville they fell asleep and didn't wake back up until we were about 3 miles from here
Dash woke up first and saw a Disney cruiseline bus and he knew right then there was no Atlanta. Then Gabby sees the WDW sign and started smiling. Both looked at me with confusion and I said, "Anyone up for Star Wars weekends!?" Let's just say the backseat was very happy! :goodvibes
The resort was All Stars Sports. We did this kind of last minute so Pop was all sold out and I did not want to stay at movies again. Ew! I hated that place with a passion. It has been over a decade since we'd stayed at All Star Sports so I was fine with it. I knew the rooms had been redone and to be honest they were kind of cute. I like the way they're decorated. Much better theme than movies, I HATED the way those rooms looked (other than the bathroooms and curtains...those were cool!) I'm still not a fan of the All Stars though. They're so far away from everything and the food courts/lobby/ and pools I don't care for. When it comes to value it's Pop for me. I do wish Pop was decorated like the ASMu/ASSp rooms though. I love the silver mixed with the wood.
So anyway...we pull up to All Star Sports and Sidney goes to check us in. It's pouring rain so we didn't care to get out. About 15 minutes later he showed back up with the keys and paperwork. The woman told him she gave us a nice room. Ha! Are you kidding me? She had put us up against a swamp...our view was of a swamp and we saw a flipping baby gator near the sidewalk on our way to the room. No way was I gonna stay there. This is the first room....on the back side of the hoops section.
Gabby was freaked out after seeing the gator!
And here is Sidney calling the front desk asking for a room near civilization.
They told him to come up and get his new keys. I didn't care to stand in the rain with gators so we waited 'til he came back. Meanwhile I took a picture of the table and chairs. I thought these were really cute. Gabby is still waiting and standing still. She knows we wipe down and sanitize everything before we use it. She was so good and patient this day.
FInally after what felt like forever Sidney came back and got us. We swam back to the truck and moved over to the football section. We were on the second floor but we were right by the food court and pools. (No gators to be seen.) Upon arrival in our new room 0220 we had this waiting for us.
This room was so much better. There were other people around and things to see, other than baby gators and swamp.
We unloaded our fridge and got settled in. We were trying to keep this trip on the low side, meaning groceries would be bought and food eaten in the room quite a few times. We brought our sandwich maker and the works...things went well too, surprisingly.
Look how cute the coat rack is
The bath and vanity were kind of plain and the water faucet was horrible...you'd have to turn it on full force or the water would drip on the back of the sink. Ew!
Once we sanitized and wiped down our room we were all starved. We went over to the Ale House for take out. It was ladies night ($1 drink specials) and the place was packed so I did not want to take the kids inside. We got our food and ate it in the truck to the sound of pouring rain. LOL I had the kids chicken tenders (and this was two meals for me...not kidding) w/ a plain baked potatoe. The kids had tenders and pizza and Sidney ordered the 35 Fried Shrimp & Jumbalaya (I can't spell it, sorry...or maybe I did, anyway you know what I mean right?) The J was for tomorrow night and the 35 shrimp he ate then. Sorry, no pics.
After dinner we went to Hell-Mart. I HATE that place with a passion. Things went okay though. I lasted about 15 minutes and then I had to get out of there. We bought our groceries and got the kids some cute Mickey and Minnie ponchos for $4 each. We didn't even have to wait in line! I was in shock! Usually it takes ya about an hour to check out at that WM. I think I angered the cashier though...she was reading the National Enquirer when we walked up and she gave me a dirty look.
We went back to our room, watched Stacy chat things up about the parks, and went to sleep. We all prayed for a break in the weather tomorrow so we could enjoy Epcot's Flower and Garden festival. Would we get one? Stick around to see...:goodvibes
LOL! I refuse to patronize Walmart. I just can't do it. The last time I even tried was 2 years ago. We were going to a lake vacation and our cargo box had not been locked on the drive...all our beach towels littered the highway (thankfully we found the life jackets that had also flown out). In desparation, we tried Walmart (Target and Penney's having been a bust and we really didn't want to pay resort town prices for bad towels).
It was a NIGHTMARE. A kid actually TOOK otter pops out of my cart and the mom didn't stop him! Employees couldn't even tell me wehre the towels were.
I left, sans otter pops. Or anything for that matter.
And have some hideously cheap (but pricey) towels that are delegated as yard "beach" towels and hang in the garage as a result for after the sprinkler.
Baby gator? Oh my! DS8 would have freaked. Or been fascinated, I'm not quite sure.
Will catch up later, just going out for a picnic :)
popcorn:: I'm in.
We were there 5/23 - 5/26. Stayed at Pop.:cool2:
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