kid@heart's October 2013 Trip
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  1. #1
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    [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Hi everyone. We've been back for a week now and I am still missing it! Thought I would relive the memories with a trip report...

    On this trip it was me (36), DH (38), DS (9) and DD (7). We had originally planned this trip to be a little getaway for just my husband and I, and my parents were going to watch the kids for us. But tragically in July, my father had a stroke and passed away. This of course had a major impact on every aspect of our lives. We thought about cancelling the trip altogether, but after much debate we decided to keep it, take the kids, and enjoy some much needed time together as a family. My mom told us she was ok and still wanted us to go. In my heart, I know my dad would have wanted that for us, too. It was his favorite place to be after all, and is where I got my passion for WDW from.

    Moving on before I get too emotional...

    We then decided to keep it a surprise for the kids. They had known before that we had been planning to go for a few days by ourselves, so we thought it would be fun to let them continue thinking that and then surprise them. It was nice because I was able to talk about the trip without having to hide everything, just the part about them going!

    Friday, October 11

    My husband got out of work a little early so we could pick the kids up from school together. It was rainy and cool, and I couldn’t help but think about how different the weather would be in Florida! The kids were happy to see both of us. Before we left the house to get them, I had put their suitcases and backpacks on their beds. So when we got home, I asked them to come upstairs for a minute to see something in their rooms. They opened their doors, saw everything and had a somewhat confused look on their face. Then I asked if they wanted to come with us! Well, you can imagine their excitement!! They started jumping up and down, saying “Yes! No school!” Because, you know, that’s the most important thing, LOL. I got the whole thing on video. Priceless!

    We told them we would be leaving bright and early the next day, so we needed to *try* and get a good night’s rest. Surprisingly, they did. Me?? Not so much. I never sleep well the night before we leave! (In enters the Disney commercial flashback…”I’m too excited to sleep!”)

    Saturday, October 12

    We all got up and out the door on time the next morning, then headed off to Philly International! We had no traffic, always a plus. We got to the airport parking facility (any of you Philly people, I highly recommend Winner Airport Parking. They are awesome!), then they drove us over and dropped us off at curbside check-in. We took care of that, breezed through security, and had about an hour to spare. We walked down to our terminal area and had a bite to eat before it was time to board.

    We flew Southwest, which has an open seating policy. I didn’t do the early bird check-in, so the boarding positions we got were pretty much last in line. It was a sold out flight, so I had told the kids ahead of time that we probably wouldn’t be able to sit together because of this. Sure enough, we had to meander all over the plane until we found 4 seats, which were all in different areas. With the kids being older and having flown a few times before, this didn’t bother them at all. I think they kind of liked it actually. Made them feel grown up! My husband wasn’t too far from my daughter towards the front, and my son was about 10 rows behind me at the back of the plane. I was a little concerned of course, but they were fine.

    We had a great flight and even arrived a half hour ahead of schedule. The pilot and crew were very comical and asked who was going to Disney, so all the kids cheered. Then he joked about there being adult beverages on board for us grown-ups. It was fun and you could just sense what a great mood everyone was in starting out on their vacations!

    We picked up our luggage, got our rental car and were on our way! Another surprise we had for the kids was that we had added a couple of days on at the Nickelodeon Resort. They saw this place last year and were asking to go sometime. I knew they would be so excited! Before we headed over there though, we went to Downtown Disney for some lunch. We were starving!

    We decided to try Planet Hollywood. This is one of those places I usually pass up because it’s one of those “been there, done that” type of things. But I must say it was really nice to go back since it had been a long time. The kids loved it! I got the L.A. Lasagna and boy was that good! I’ve never had fried lasagna before. So, so tasty!

    After lunch we decided to head over to check-in at Nick. Our room was ready so away we went! I had heard mixed reviews on this place so I was a little concerned. It certainly isn’t Disney, but I was pleasantly surprised. Our room was on the third floor and faced the main pool area. It did have a slight musty smell, which I had read about in reviews, and could stand to be refurbed/updated, but overall it was very nice. We had a two bedroom Jimmy Neutron suite. The kids had their own room with bunk beds and tv, we had our own room with a king bed, tv and nice little vanity area. The bathroom was a decent size, and there was also a kitchenette and living room area with a large flat screen tv.

    After checking things out and relaxing for a few minutes, we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the pool area. The kids absolutely loved it!! There were lots of poolside activities and things going on. My husband and I grabbed a couple chairs, a drink from the pool bar, and watched them having the time of their lives. It was great. Just what our family needed! An escape from reality, if only for a little while.

    At dinnertime we decided to head over to the “mall” area for something to eat. This is basically just a large food court type of area that also has a couple of stores and an arcade. In the back of the building they have a studio where they do game shows and there’s also a movie theater, but we never did those things. We ordered from the pizza place, got a pager and had a seat. It took FOREVER for the food to come out. My husband had to go up and check just to make sure we didn’t miss the page. Nope, just wasn’t ready yet. It had to have been at least 45 minutes!! But we finally got our order, ate, and then went in the arcade for a little bit. It was bedtime by this point, so we decided to turn in so we weren’t too tired for our day at LEGOLAND the next day. Another surprise for the kids!
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    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  2. #2

    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Sounds great so far.... gotta love walking down memory lane!

    MB
    Mike
    "Drink up me Hardees... Yo Ho"
    One day in Disney is better than none !!!
    30+ trips and counting to WDW
    EW Contemp. 83, Contemp. 84, Ft. Wilderness 85 EW Contemp. 86,Class trip 86, Oak Island Cove 02, Radisson 03, Radisson 03, POR 04, Radisson 04 Renaissance Inn 04, POR 2\05, POP 3\05, POR 06, POR 07, POR 08, AKL 10\08, AKL 3\09, Jambo House 5\09........ too many to list now :-)

  3. #3
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    Can't wait to hear more!

  4. #4
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    Great report! I'm really looking forward to reading more.
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  5. #5
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    Yay! I'm excited to read this!

  6. #6
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Thanks, everyone! Here are just a few more photos from our first day..
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    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  7. #7
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Can't wait to hear what you thought of Legoland!
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  8. #8
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Sunday, October 13

    We got up and ready at a decent time today so we could head out to LEGOLAND. We left around 9:30 and arrived a little after 10, so about a 40 minute drive. We didn’t tell the kids where we were taking them, but that didn’t last too long. They kept asking so we told them it started with an “L”. They guessed it on the first try! Stinkers. They had seen commercials for it over the summer and had been asking to go sometime, so they were really excited when they found out!

    I also wanted to mention, we got our tickets online from a website suggested by Mousesavers. Home Depot has an offer for buy one adult ticket at regular price, get one child’s ticket free. The promo says it’s good through the end of the year, but when I printed my ticket, one said it was good for one whole year, and the other one said there was no expiration. Not sure why the difference, but I would assume the deal will run longer than advertised. You can only purchase one set at a time (note you have to use a different credit card for each transaction though). So with two transactions, I got two free tickets. Quite a deal!

    We headed into the park and grabbed a map first thing. I did look at the map online before we went, but this was our first time here, so I had no idea what the layout of the park would actually be like in person. The first thing I thought was…this park is huge! We weren’t sure where to go first, so we just kind of wandered around until we saw something we liked. Our first pick was The Dragon in the LEGO Kingdoms area.

    We waited for about 40 minutes. The kids kept asking why we couldn’t get a Fastpass, lol. Yes, Disney has certainly spoiled us there. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be like the Barnstormer where you wait forever for a 10 second ride. Everyone was clapping when they got back though, so I had high hopes! I must say, it was more than I expected. It is a roller coaster, but once you get on they send you through some really cool LEGO scenery real slow before you get outside for the actual roller coaster part. Loved it!

    It was getting to be lunchtime already by this point, so we set out in search of food. And searched, and searched…this would be one complaint I have. Where are all the food stands?! I saw a lot of people come in with their own coolers, and now I knew why. We did come across a burger stand, but the kids don’t like burgers. I knew there was a full service restaurant somewhere, but we were too hungry to search for it. We finally came across another stand that had hot dogs and chips, and that was it! I spied some other food stand just a short walk away, but it was closed. What the heck. So, hot dogs and chips it was. Not really what I had in mind, but it got the job done.

    After our “meal”, we went and explored the Land of Adventure. I really liked this area. The kids loved Pharaoh’s Revenge, which is just an enclosed jungle gym type of structure, but they have air cannons that shoot balls all over. They played in there for quite some time, then rode on the little Beetle Bounce (or Frog Hopper as I call it).

    We also played the (*ripoff*) carnival games that are right there. They have their people trained well. You win a small prize and they tell you that you can keep playing for an even bigger prize (saying this with excitement and certainty to get kid’s hopes up), but “only if it’s ok with Mom or Dad”. What do you think happens next?? Not cool!

    But anyway, next we all went on Lost Kingdom Adventure. THIS is a great ride! Very similar to Buzz Lightyear ‘s Space Ranger Spin. And there was hardly any wait! That was one thing I noticed…the lines seemed to be getting shorter as the day went on.

    Next the kids wanted to go on Project X. They had seen that from the other side earlier when we were eating. On our way over, we wondered through MINILAND for a while. That was really cool. Such attention to detail! They also had Trick or Treating set up in that area, but the kids didn’t want to do it. We got to Project X and got in another rather short line. This is more like it!

    I hadn’t taken a good look at this ride because if I had, I wouldn’t have done it! These are the types of roller coasters I absolutely despise. I will do most any ride, but single car roller coasters creep me out big time! I’ve heard too many stories of them flying off the track. But I was committed at this point, so I said a prayer and boarded the car. Well, I tried to board the car. That is before I got told I couldn’t carry my (small) purse on. Nope, even though it was safely secured around me, it HAD to go in the cubby until we got back. I wasn’t too happy about that, but rules are rules so I did as I was asked. Safely back on board, the car took off and away we went. Yup, I still hate those roller coasters!! I was pretty sure my life was on the line during each and every curve. I pretty much closed my eyes until it was over. Never again! The kids loved it though, lol.

    Next the kids wanted to ride the Aquazone Wave Racers, but they broke down while they were in line. So we decided to have some ice cream and watch the show at Pirates’ Cove. This was a great live-action show! Boat chases, runaway pirates, LEGO guys chasing each other around…what’s not to love?! I was glad we took the time to see this.

    After the show we did the Kid Power Towers. Ugh. This was a pulley-type ride where you started at the bottom (2 people per side) and literally pulled your way up to the top, drop back down, and pull yourself back up. It was way too hot out for this type of activity, lol. But we did it and the kids were happy.

    Then we headed over to the LEGO CITY area. The first thing we did was the Rescue Academy. Oh. My. GOSH!! This was another ride you had to work at! You had to pump up and down to make your little car move over to the fire hydrant on the other side (maybe about 3 parking spaces long or so), then you had to get out and pump the fire hydrant while your partner aims the hose at the building. Then get BACK in the car and pump AGAIN to get back to the starting point. I am all about getting some exercise in, and this is a great idea in theory, but not when you’re tired and it’s 90 degrees out!! Boy did we laugh though. It was fun despite the heat exhaustion, lol.

    Next up was the Driving School. This ride is for kids only (ages 6-12) and is so cute! I wasn’t even sure what it was at first. You had to wait in line and then watch a video that explained what the kids had to do. Turns out it’s an actual driving course for kids! Each one got their own little car and had to follow the rules of the road with stop signs and everything. While they are “driving”, the parents sit off to the side and watch. Great ride for them!

    By this point it was almost 5 and we were feeling pretty beat. The park was closing at 6, so we decided to make our way out of the park. But this turned in to doing several more rides, lol. We came across Coastersaurus, a big wooden roller coaster. So the kids went on that while we waited at the exit. They loved that one! They also hit up Pharaoh’s Revenge one more time, along with a couple other small rides on the way out (Royal Joust and Merlin’s Challenge). With a ride on the carousel and some Apple Fries (mmm, so good!), we ended our day at LEGOLAND.

    We decided to grab a bite to eat somewhere before heading back to the hotel. We stumbled upon the area with a lot of good restaurants just outside Disney, and decided upon Landry’s. The name kind of rang a bell, and I’m thinking it has been mentioned here on TD before, perhaps by Winkster? Wow, this place was awesome! Very nice atmosphere and the food was excellent! I had the Chicken Romano and my husband had the Shrimp Romano. Both came with capellini cake, which I’d never had before. That was soooo good! It was kind of like fried spaghetti. One of the best dishes of the entire trip! They also had a balloon artist there, so the kids each got one. Just a very nice experience there and I was glad we came across it.

    Stuffed and tired we headed back to the resort. Someone almost hit us on the way out. They were pulling a bonehead move and backing up at the exit and didn’t see us. My husband beeped the horn but they were within inches of us before they stopped. Phew, that got the heart pumping! Thankfully we arrived safely back at our resort. We relaxed with a little bit of tv before going to bed, but we were all pretty exhausted! Thankfully we didn’t have big plans the next day. Just moving on over to Old Key West, with some other adventures along the way!

    I will post pictures later since it's not working for me right now and it's time to get some shuteye!
    Last edited by [email protected]; 10-26-2013 at 01:37 AM.
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  9. #9
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Awesome update! Reminded me of my trip!!!

    Landry's is also the restaurant company that runs Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex...could that be why the name rang a bell?
    B.C. (Before Child) '82, '87 - '95, 2004
    A.D. (After Daughter)
    2010 - 2 weeks @ CBR
    2011 - 3 in DC, 14 @ CBR
    2012 - 3 @ Uni Royal Pacific, 12 @ Pop
    2013 - 3 @ DLR | Contemporary, DCL Fantasy, POFQ
    2015 - 2 in DC, 3 @ Uni Portofino, 3 @ AKL, DCL Fantasy, 4 @ AoA

  10. #10
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    Loving the report!

    Yep - I've mentioned Landry's a few times (as have a few others I think).

    As englanddg says, they're the people behind The Rainforest Cafe (boooo!) and T-Rex (yayyyyyyy!). Glad you enjoyed your meal. Maybe we'll try there when we next make it out to WDW.
    There's a great big beautiful tomorrow
    Just a dream away!

    TALK DISNEY ADMINISTRATOR


  11. #11
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by englanddg View Post
    Awesome update! Reminded me of my trip!!!

    Landry's is also the restaurant company that runs Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex...could that be why the name rang a bell?
    Quote Originally Posted by Winkster View Post
    Loving the report!

    Yep - I've mentioned Landry's a few times (as have a few others I think).

    As englanddg says, they're the people behind The Rainforest Cafe (boooo!) and T-Rex (yayyyyyyy!). Glad you enjoyed your meal. Maybe we'll try there when we next make it out to WDW.
    Ah, I knew it sounded familiar for some reason! It could be from the Rainforest/T-Rex reference. I thought of Winkster first because I know he has mentioned good offsite restaurants before. Either way, it's worth a visit!
    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  12. #12
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    First let me say I am very sorry for your loss!
    Next what an awesome report and you haven't even got to Disney yet lol.

  13. #13
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Here are my pictures from our day at Legoland.
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    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  14. #14
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    Thank you, mrsmule229.

    Monday, October 14


    We took our time getting up this morning since we didn’t have anywhere to be right away. After some breakfast in the room, my husband took the kids down to the pool for one last swim while I packed everything up.

    After packing the luggage into the trunk (everything fit, just barely!) we headed over to Downtown Disney for some lunch. The first thing we did was pick up a Tables in Wonderland card. We decided to try it this trip, instead of the DDP, to see how we liked it. It costs $100 for DVC members and/or annual passholders ($125 for Florida residents) and gives you 20% off your bill (including alcohol). It also automatically calculates an 18% tip and adds it to the bill. I liked the idea of not having any restrictions of the DDP (having to order a dessert with every meal, appetizers not included, etc) and still getting a discount. The fact that alcohol is included is a nice perk, too. We aren’t big drinkers, but with one drink costing maybe $10 or so, it’s nice to get a discount! It’s also good for 13 months, so we will be able to use it again when we go this summer. After about $500 it pays for itself (not hard to do, especially if used for more than one trip), then it’s all 20% savings after that.

    After getting that, we decided to check out Splitsville, both for lunch and bowling! The lanes are full service, so you can choose to eat while you bowl, but we decided to sit down at a table and eat first. It’s very nice inside...open and airy, with a bar and bowling lanes both downstairs and upstairs. I had the Fiesta Chicken Bowl, which was very good! Chicken and vegetables served over white rice, with sliced avocado on top. Yum!

    When we were finished, we went up and paid for our lane (we got one upstairs). There’s not a whole lot to report here. It was fun, but nothing too different from bowling anywhere else. They did have these little ramps for the kids to use for their ball. We’ve never seen them anywhere else before, and the kids liked using them. We even went bumper-free for the first time ever, lol!

    It was about 2pm by now, so we decided to head over to check in at Old Key West. This was our first stay as DVC members, so I was excited! We were greeted at the door by a CM with a tablet, who looked us up and walked us over to the check in area. I don’t know if they were training people or it’s usually this way, but there were a ton of CM’s behind the desk! A lot of whom were just kind of standing around…just seemed kind of strange.

    But anyway, as the girl was giving us all our things, she pulled out a box and asked if we knew what it was. Yay, our Magicbands!! I didn’t order them ahead of time, so they were just the standard gray ones, but I was excited to try them out! The first thing I did was head over to the concierge desk to buy our ticket for Epcot. We weren’t going for a couple days, but I didn’t want to be bothered at the gate. They gave us a plastic card ticket and a printed sheet both as a backup should our Magicbands fail for any reason. I guess they really wanted to make sure we didn’t have any problems! Should I be worried??

    Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we checked out the main area and hung out at the pool for a while. This resort is so nice!! It reminded me of a cross between OKW and CBR. It just has a very relaxed and “now this is a vacation” vibe to it. The kids loved the pool and sandcastle slide!! They also had the afternoon pool party going on, so they had a lot of fun joining in that. Great start to the Disney leg of our trip!

    It was around 4 now. Our room wasn’t ready yet, but no big deal. I hadn’t really expected it to be anyway. We had reservations for ‘Ohana at 5, so we quickly got the kids out of the pool and changed so we could head over. And I must say…I loved having our own car! Such a time saver! We were there and walking through the Poly doors all in about 15 minutes! If you can’t tell, I am used to allowing a good hour on Disney transportation for such a thing, lol. I don’t know if we’ll rent a car every time, but it sure was nice!

    We got in the line to check-in for ‘Ohana and received our pager. We had a little bit of a wait, but not too bad. My husband and I got Lapu Lapu’s from the Tambu Lounge in the meantime. It was right about this point that my son came down with a really bad headache. I felt bad for him and was wondering if we should call it a night, but he hung in there. We got our page and headed over to be seated. My daughter was happy because she got to carry the Welcome Bread, lol.

    Our seat was on the other side of the grill area towards the entrance of the restaurant, kind of blocked off from the main area. We couldn’t really see any of the entertainment, but honestly I was just happy to be there! We’ve done breakfast here, but their dinner has been on my bucket list for a while. We got this ADR at about two months out, so I considered us lucky! My daughter joined in the children’s games and dancing, but my son wasn’t up for it. The noise was really bothering him, so it’s probably a good thing we weren’t front and center.

    We got our salad and then the food started coming around. Steak, chicken, pork, shrimp, dumplings, noodles and stir-fried veggies...boy, they really know how to stuff you here! Thankfully during dinner my son started feeling better. Yay! Everything was really good! Not to mention the bread pudding for dessert...amazing!!

    Earlier I had received the text that our room was ready, so we then went back to our resort to take our bags in and check everything out. It was just a studio, but still had a lot more space than we are used to. I liked having a balcony and kitchenette. Very nice!

    After that we headed over to Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary. It was about 8pm and I had wanted to check out Top of the World Lounge. This was a DVC thing that I had heard about and how it was a good spot to watch Wishes from. Tonight there was a MNSSHP going on, so I thought it would be cool to see Hallowishes from there. I’m sure it would have been, but…

    We showed our cards at the front desk, rode the elevator up and went out to the MK viewing area. The view was great, no doubt! However it was only 8:30 and fireworks weren’t for another hour. There was a bar inside, but we didn’t want to hang out in there. We could have waited outside, but it was too windy and cool up there with nothing to do for an hour. We decided to go back to the Polynesian and watch them from the beach instead. Works for me! I’ve always wanted to do that, too. And any reason to be at my favorite resort, I’m there! The kids had way more fun hanging out on the beach anyway. Maybe another time for BLT…

    We went back to our resort when the fireworks were over. It was close to 11 by then, so pretty much just went to bed. Another day of relaxing fun on tap for tomorrow!
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    Couldn't imagine life without WDW!
    Last Trip: Oct 2015
    Upcoming: Feb 2016
    Treehouses(2) Vaca. Villas(2) Poly(1) Contemporary(1) CSR(1) CBR(4) POR(1) Sports(4) OKW(1) SSR(2) AKL(1)
    **Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, Golly, what a day!**

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
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    Re: [email protected]'s October 2013 Trip

    I'm loving your trip report! I can't wait to read more...
    TALK DISNEY MODERATOR

    DL: At least 5 times in '80s
    WDW: '72, '77, '88, May '03, May '04, Nov '04, Jan '05, Feb '05, Dec '05, Jan '06, May '06, Oct '06, Nov '07, Nov '08, Feb '09, Oct 09, Dec '09, Mar '10, Apr 10, Dec '10, Mar '11, May '11, Oct '11, Dec '11, Jan '12, Oct '12, Dec '12, Feb '13, Dec '13, Nov '14, Dec '14, Feb '15, Mar '15, Apr '15, May '15, Aug '15, Oct '15, Dec '15


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