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Old 07-25-2009, 07:29 AM   #1
jmskinner
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My DSD came for a visit & didn't stay for our trip to WDW??? Update 1/13Kadani Villag

First off, I don't have pics in this first chapter, but there are over 3000 uploaded and ready to go, so there will be a lot later. Don't worry, I won't post all 3000, maybe 2000. This TR is a little different. Later on my BFF will be joining me in writing this. So, two TR's in one!

Links to chapters...
The Cast (well part of the cast)

Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens Part 2
Busch Gardens Part 3
Busch Gardens Part 4
Busch Gardens Completed

We finally made it to Universal
The BFF and her family are introduced.
We finally made it to Universal ch 2Vickie and family land in Orlando!
We finally made it to Universal Ch 3We finally made it to Universal Ch 4
Vickie and Family arrive at AK Jambo House

The AKV Room Experience
The AKV Resort Experience

Islands of Adventure
Downtown Disney with Vickie and Family
Islands of Adventure Ch 2
Islands of Adventures Ch 3
Islands of Adventure Ch 4 Mythos!
Islands of Adventure Ch 5
Islands of Adventure Ch 6
Islands of Adventure Ch 7
Islands of Adventure Ch 8
End to a perfect day, Chocolate at AKV!
Hard Rock Cafe
Last night at Citywalk
Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Review

MK with Simmerbaggins and Clan
MK with Simmerbaggins and Clan ch2
MK with Simmerbaggins and Clan ch3
MK with Simmerbaggins and Clan ch4
MK with Simmerbaggins and Clan ch5

One More Day at Univesal
One More Day at Universal Ch 2
One More Day at Universal Ch 4
The Trip to POR and POR Review
POR Review Part 2
DTD - Did I really see that?


The Meet (Vickie)
The Meet (Melissa)
Our day at AK (Vickie)
Our day at AK (Melissa)
Vickie's version of the trail!
Melissa's take on the Safari
Vickie's take on the Safari
FOTLK by Melissa
FOTLK by Vickie
Flickr and another trail
Flickr and another trail (Vickie)
2 Rollercoasters, a dino dig, and we became bugs (Melissa)
And Vickie's version with teats!
Nemo (Melissa)
Nemo (Vickie)
Rafikiti's Planet Watch (Melissa)
Rafikiti's Planet Watch (Vickie)
The end of our AK day (Melissa)

Vickie and her family enjoy the AK pool, sort of...

Mission:Space and the Lost DS (Melissa)
And Vickie's version of M:S
Melissa talks them into Beverly!
Vickie's take on Beverly and The Land
Figment and a trip halfway around the World.



So, a year ago the Air Force decided Tampa, FL was where my DH was needed. I couldn't wait, we would be an hour from WDW. We have really enjoyed Florida life and yes, we have AP's for WDW. In fact, until this month we hadn't been to any of the other parks in FL, just WDW.

So, back in February this year, my BFF, Vickie (Simmerbaggins here on the Dis) called me. Her family are DVC owners at...AK! They were at the point of lose, use, or sell their points, so they booked a trip and wanted to know if we would come see them. Forget about coming to see them, we were going to go and stay also. I had been wanting all of us to go to WDW together. So, Vickie and her family were arriving July 15th and staying until the 22nd. We booked July 17th-21st at SOG.

This led to thinking of my DSD (Stepdaughter) Kara. Our previous week long trips she had joined us at WDW. Being a 16 year old now, we didn't know if she would this time, but we sent her an email and she said..."YES!" Now, if we could just get her mother to let her fly so we wouldn't have to go get her in NC.

In May, Kara's Stepdad convinced her Mom how nice it would be to have the house to themselves, you know walk around naked etc. Sorry, TMI. And she could fly if she wanted to. So I started pricing flights and sending dates to Kara to see what worked best for a busy teenager. That's when she came back and said, she had something going on the 18th and needed to be home. Well, her Dad got mad that she knew these dates since February and now was changing her mind. We finally got her set for July 8-17th. And DH was able to work out leave also, which was his main concern and the reason he was mad. He would need almost 2 weeks off.

I started thinking that maybe we should add some days to WDW and that way Kara could still be there for part of the trip. At this point I remembered something. I had won a 7 day pass to Universal during the Superbowl we hadn't used yet and had been trying to figure out when to do so. Also, being military DH got a free 7 day pass. There were discounts for the kids also. So I asked DH if we should maybe go to Disneyworld earlier, or go to Universal and then to WDW. He said to ask Kara what she wanted to do and she decided on Universal.

Now I was really excited. Universal and WDW. Oh, wait, there is more. We live within 30 minutes of Busch Gardens and military are offered 4 free passes to any Busch park each year and we hadn't used them.

So, this TR will include Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, and WDW. I'll start the next chapter with the cast and the pics begin!
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900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! August 2012 TR I love SWW and SW Celebrations...does that mean I am a geek? A PTR of a SW family August 2012. Adventures of a DisneyWORLDholic!
That's it...we moved to Florida to be close to Mickey TR with daily TR's and other Florida Fun!
My DSD came to visit and didn't want to go to WDW with us??? My July 14-21st TR with Busch Gardens, Universal, and of course, WDW.

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Old 07-25-2009, 08:14 AM   #2
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The Cast, Part 1

I thought I would introduce the cast as I tell about the first family thing we did once Kara got here. The DH had heard about a cool miniature golf place in the area. Now the cool part is a surprise, so I won't give it away now. I'm sure you are wondering what could be so cool about miniature golf. So, this was Friday, July 10th. (Kara arrived on the 8th late, we went shopping on the Thursday)

Me, Melissa (39) By the time this is completed I will have turned....40!!! I have always loved amusement parks, grew up going to Six Flags Over Texas at least once a year and any other amusement park Mom would take me to. My first trip to WDW was in 2006 and I just fell in love with it. So much that DH and his mother think I will need a 12 step program when we have to move away in a year or two. I am now a SAHM, have been for the past year. Have enjoyed the time with my kiddo and being able to take off and go whenever I want. Plus, the house normally looks better now than when I worked. For Christmas I got my first DSLR and I it. Again, note the 3000 pics uploaded from this week and a half. Here is a pic of me playing golf, not a favorite, but I am normally the one taking pics so there were only two to choose from.



DH, Jonas (39) Right now we are the same age, but soon I will be older again. He can't wait to take me to WDW and get that birthday button so he can walk around and scream "She's 40!!!" "I love my DH, I love my DH." Sorry, just a little reminder. He is partially the cause of my addiction because on that first trip when we were there 7 days, he actually said, "I wouldn't mind coming for 10 days!" So he enjoyed it also. He likes WDW, but doesn't like to go as often as I do. He also likes to go Commando at the parks, I mean walking fast and hitting every ride he can without stopping, not the other commando. He is in the Air Force, and has been for 16 years now. He has many hobbies: comic books, miniatures, and his Mustang.



DS, Jacob (10). Sometimes I wonder if the boy is mine, but he looks just like me. He likes WDW, but is happy being home with the video games and his stuff. His stuff includes Transformers, Legos, and Bionicles.



That pic is from the start of the evening. He was already wound up. This was about 7:00 at night and the meds had worn off. Jacob is ADHD, both impulsive and hyperactive. When the meds wear off, he becomes much more touchy, wanting to climb on stuff, and sillier. Over the Summer I have him on a lower dose of medicine, so it wears off even earlier. He also deals with a lot of sensory issues. Hates loud noises and doesn't eat anything. Ok, he will eat certain chicken nuggets, french fries from McDonalds, and Mac & Cheese. His Speech Therapist is helping to get him to eat more foods. He also sees an Occupational Therapist and a Physical Therapist.

Now DSD, Kara (16). She lives in NC. Getting ready for her senior year, another reason I was surprised she wanted to come visit us. She is super smart and plans on being a Nurse.

Trying to get to see her has always been an issue. Being military we have lived all over and her mother wouldn't allow her to fly. Even with her Grandmother. To get her to WDW last year, one grandma drove her down and another picked her up. She had not been to visit us at our house since she was 3. The only time we got to see her was if we went to NC. So, we were super excited to have her this Summer and hope she will come back soon.


I had more pics of her, but she was busy playing golf or making funny faces and I wanted to show how pretty she is.

So, I mentioned how cool this miniature place was and hopefully someone will still be reading:


See what that sign says...



Now, you can also see in the sign it says "....$1.99". What you can't see is what you can do for $1.99. FEED THE GATORS!!!!

Don't worry, it isn't by hand, but using a fishing pole, but it was still cool.






The dye in the water to keep it blue turns the gators mouth blue. I felt sad about that.

And just a few more pics:








After some golf we went to dinner at:



Our first time there and we really enjoyed it. I enjoyed my Italian Margarita!

Next up....Busch Gardens!

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900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! August 2012 TR I love SWW and SW Celebrations...does that mean I am a geek? A PTR of a SW family August 2012. Adventures of a DisneyWORLDholic!
That's it...we moved to Florida to be close to Mickey TR with daily TR's and other Florida Fun!
My DSD came to visit and didn't want to go to WDW with us??? My July 14-21st TR with Busch Gardens, Universal, and of course, WDW.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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subbing now so I can be first on someone's TR

Ok, going back to read now

***That miniature golf place looks like fun, but you won't catch me there.... not with live gators on property, haha.
Kara is very pretty, I remember your TR with the grandma's driving her down. I'll probably be the same way about my kids flying without me.

Looking forward to seeing the Busch gardens stuff too, but you know I'm really waiting for Spidey and then all that glorious WDW
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JPFamilyMom View Post
subbing now so I can be first on someone's TR

Ok, going back to read now

***That miniature golf place looks like fun, but you won't catch me there.... not with live gators on property, haha.
Kara is very pretty, I remember your TR with the grandma's driving her down. I'll probably be the same way about my kids flying without me.

Looking forward to seeing the Busch gardens stuff too, but you know I'm really waiting for Spidey and then all that glorious WDW
The golfing was fun and we plan on going back. They have several different locations, all with the gators.

I always understood about Kara's mother not letting her fly until I learned she was allowed to for a school trip several years ago.

Ooooh, Spiderman brings back some memories, but you will just have to wait to see.
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900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! August 2012 TR I love SWW and SW Celebrations...does that mean I am a geek? A PTR of a SW family August 2012. Adventures of a DisneyWORLDholic!
That's it...we moved to Florida to be close to Mickey TR with daily TR's and other Florida Fun!
My DSD came to visit and didn't want to go to WDW with us??? My July 14-21st TR with Busch Gardens, Universal, and of course, WDW.
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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Ooh, I'm in! We're thinking about spending a day in Universal on our next trip- can't wait to read more
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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subscribing!

followed you from the July '09 thread

Barbie x
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:04 PM   #7
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I'm in!
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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Yay!!! So glad you started!!!!! Love the feeding the gators - but you are right it is sad that their mouths were blue.
Your step daughter is very pretty and looks very happy to be there!
Can't wait to hear the rest!
Lx
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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I'm here!!

This will be fun!

Kara IS a beautiful girl.

A place to feed gators?? Cool!! I'll have to remember that.
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Old 07-25-2009, 06:51 PM   #10
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some old friends have arrived and some newbies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GinnyBear's_mom View Post
Ooh, I'm in! We're thinking about spending a day in Universal on our next trip- can't wait to read more
Thanks for joining and do you have dates yet? I have lots of pics of Universal. There is also a huge story to go with my Universal pics, but I'll wait until I get to that part of the TR.

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subscribing!

followed you from the July '09 thread

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Welcome. So have you started a TR?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shannn View Post
I'm in!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsMinnie View Post
Yay!!! So glad you started!!!!! Love the feeding the gators - but you are right it is sad that their mouths were blue.
Your step daughter is very pretty and looks very happy to be there!
Can't wait to hear the rest!
Lx
Those blue mouths did look sad, but I'm sure the local authorities keep a close eye on the place. Kara did seem very happy to be here. I keep thinking she thinks we are all nuts and won't return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carissanboys View Post
I'm here!!

This will be fun!

Kara IS a beautiful girl.

A place to feed gators?? Cool!! I'll have to remember that.
It was a nice little surprise because the kids didn't know until the cashier asked if jwe wanted to.

They also supplied wet wipes to wipe our hands afterwards. Not sure what the meat was we were feeding them. They must get fed a lot since most of the gators stayed on the platform and didn't come over to get more food. I was really surprised by how many there were.
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900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! August 2012 TR I love SWW and SW Celebrations...does that mean I am a geek? A PTR of a SW family August 2012. Adventures of a DisneyWORLDholic!
That's it...we moved to Florida to be close to Mickey TR with daily TR's and other Florida Fun!
My DSD came to visit and didn't want to go to WDW with us??? My July 14-21st TR with Busch Gardens, Universal, and of course, WDW.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:40 PM   #11
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Long way to go...

Okay -- am I coming in later on in this thread for our trip down to see you guys/WDW/stay at AKV?

Or, will we start another??
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:01 AM   #12
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Hi melissa!

Eventually sussed you would have a new TR, but I'm not too late thankfully! Feeding the live gators looks 'fun' - as Gordon just said, are the blue mouths so you can see them coming at you easier???

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Old 07-26-2009, 08:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimmerBaggins View Post
Okay -- am I coming in later on in this thread for our trip down to see you guys/WDW/stay at AKV?

Or, will we start another??
Everyone, this is my BFF from High School. Yup, been friends how long? Lets just say we know we are old. But, young at heart.

Vickie, I decided to make it one big TR. What a horrible friend I am, I forgot to email you? Guess I was just excited to get this going. So, whenever you would like to jump in and introduce your portion of the cast is fine with me. Do it now, or wait until we reach July 15th in this TR. I'm hoping to update everyday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Finkelstein View Post
Hi melissa!

Eventually sussed you would have a new TR, but I'm not too late thankfully! Feeding the live gators looks 'fun' - as Gordon just said, are the blue mouths so you can see them coming at you easier???

Di x
you found it. You know, those mouths look like they might glow in the dark. I wonder what they do with them after they reach a certain length. They were all 4 or 5 footers.

Ok, need to get Jacob out of bed and then I will post another update.
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900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! August 2012 TR I love SWW and SW Celebrations...does that mean I am a geek? A PTR of a SW family August 2012. Adventures of a DisneyWORLDholic!
That's it...we moved to Florida to be close to Mickey TR with daily TR's and other Florida Fun!
My DSD came to visit and didn't want to go to WDW with us??? My July 14-21st TR with Busch Gardens, Universal, and of course, WDW.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:13 AM   #14
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Saturday, July 11th @ Busch Gardens

So we were finally going to use our free passes to Busch Gardens. Don't know why we did not do this last year. I did a little research on Busch Gardens before we left, but not a lot. I also realized a Saturday probably was the busiest day to go, but I wanted to give us a couple of days away from parks since we still had 3 at Universal coming up, and 5 at WDW.

For those of you new to reading one of my TR's. The DH, Jonas, reads while I drive, so he doesn't have a clue where anything is. I get irritated when he does this when we are going somewhere new because I would like having help looking for signs. I forgot Kara could help and Jacob is never any help. Even when I ask. Of course I am doing fine, but when I get in the left turn lane, Jonas pops his head "Why are you turning here?"

I replied, "Because the sign said so."

Jonas:"Well, I don't think this is right."

Me: "We'll find out."

Sure enough I was right. I can read.

One reason I remembered we go to WDW so much is because the parking is free with our AP. We paid the $12 or 15 to park at Busch Gardens and were on our way. Of course we had no idea where to go so we followed everyone else who led us to the tram stop. It's a nice little covered area and they had entertainers there for us.



I'm sure you are wondering why I posted a pic of the back of her. Well, she was stepping over the chain, and I thought it was amazing because I would have fell on my rear. Here she is crossing over the chain.



She came over and spoke to us:




By the way, this TR is going to become a how does it compare to WDW and does anything really compare to WDW.

First comparison, didn't like that they didn't have individual cues for the trams seats like at WDW. So, it took forever to get on the tram, which is also much smaller than the ones at WDW.



We made it to the park gate and saw a special booth for Military families. Got our tickets. We were informed about their line express system, but it would have been about $100 and I just couldn't see spending that. Might regret that later. But we were on the way to the park, but first we had to go through security and the ticket booths.

They had an express line for those without bags, so Jonas and the kids got in that line, while I went through the long line.

Here is Kara waiting on an employee to check her military ID:


Then Jonas helping Jacob through:


Did anyone notice I was taking pictures of them coming through the gate. Guess that express line wasn't so express. I had to wait a good five minutes for them. But, we were in. Let the fun begin. But first we had to figure out where we were going. Yup, we did that "I'm new to the park thing." Stopped first thing, pulled out the map and went, "What do we want to ride first." We decided to head towards Morocco.

Now, one thing I haven't mentioned is Jacob hates rollercoasters. Which is really weird since he loved the little wooded coaster at Dutch Wonderland when he was 3. He also loves the Judge Roy Scream at Six Flags over Texas, which is not a small coaster. This is also another reason why I wonder if he was switced at birth or something. So, we were really glad to have Kara with us so we could ride coasters.

Saw the stable with the Clydesdales:



Looked like they were getting baths to be on display all day. Sadly, this was as close we got all day. I love Clydesdales, beautiful animals.

In the following pic, you will see a very large white building. That is a restaurant that looked really nice, but sadly we didn't eat there.


This would be the very first ride of the day. MONTU!


Jacob was worried Dad would make him go on it, but I wasn't going to make him. Some stuff I will, but not things like this.

We saw signs that no loose articles allowed and saw everyone putting their stuff in lockers. So, we paid the 50 cents and put my backpack and camera in the locker. Then I stopped and asked if Jacob could just walk through. He said basically we would have to swap and we could wait at the ride exit for those riding. So, Jacob and I headed off, not fully understanding the procedure. There was a bone digging area right next to the ride (one of the things I love about Busch parks, there is normally something for small kids next to the big rides.) So, Jacob played there, but my camera was in the locker and Jonas had the key. I didn't get any pics of this. It wasn't long before Jonas and Kara were off and I got to ride. Kara was going to really enjoy her day since she got to turn around and ride everything with me. It was a blast. One of those coasters where you hang under the track. I had worn flip-flops, so I had to put them to the side so I rode barefoot. My first time doing so and it felt really weird.

Now that I think about it, I don't know why Jacob couldn't just walk through when we got on the ride and wait on us. You got off and on at the same spot.

Got my bag out and snapped a few pics:






Next up, the Skyride. I can't remember the last time we did these, probably Dutch Wonderland. Jacob was a little scared due to the height, but he enjoyed the view. We looked around for everything we wanted to ride. I'll finish this update with some pics from the ride:



KUMBA!


SHEIKRA!




Ok, at my image limit, so I will continue this later with more pics from the Skyride and I wonder which one of those big coasters we rode next?


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POR July 2006;POR June 13-21 2008;ASM Sept 26-28 2008;RPR July 14-16, 2009;POR July 16-21 2009;CBR Sept 4-7, 2009, POFQ Thanksgiving 2009, AKKV June 5-6, 2010, POFQ July 2010, AS Sports Sept 2010, POFQ Jan 2011, BLT Feb 2011, POP Apr 2011, SoG May 2011, POR July 2011, POR and POP Aug 2012, CSR Oct 2012


900 Miles, 5 Parks, 2 Resorts, 6 ADR's, and 3 days of Celebration!!! August 2012 TR I love SWW and SW Celebrations...does that mean I am a geek? A PTR of a SW family August 2012. Adventures of a DisneyWORLDholic!
That's it...we moved to Florida to be close to Mickey TR with daily TR's and other Florida Fun!
My DSD came to visit and didn't want to go to WDW with us??? My July 14-21st TR with Busch Gardens, Universal, and of course, WDW.
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:50 PM   #15
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 1,155

Great update! I found myself doing the same last year when we went to Universal. I don't think anywhere compares to WDW does it? Looks like you were having fun so far! Those rollercoasters look horrific!!! I think I would be in the boneyard kids areas with Jacob!!!!
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