JoAnn's February 2017 Trip Report

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JoAnn C's picture
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JoAnn's February 2017 Trip Report

Or as I like call "invading the Smith family vacation". My best friend and her husband took their two kids to WDW in 2015. Their plan was to take the kids every 3 or 4 years. One day late 2015 / early 2016, her husband started talking about going sooner. They looked at dates their son was out of school and decided on February 2017. When she told me this, I told her I would have an annual pass at that time. Her response was "yes, the kids would love it if you came with us". So the planning began. We decided not to tell the kids I was going. I am going down the day before and will be at their resort (BLT) when they arrive. Surprise, Auntie Jo is here. Smile

Lately, her 4 year old daughter has been saying "I want Auntie Jo to come to Disney". Melts my heart. We've been very careful about not talking about it in front of the kids when we're together.

So here are the trip details. I've been really bad about trip reports lately. I'll try to do better with this one.

I rented points for a studio at Animal Kingdom Villa - Kidani.

Day 1 (Friday)
Arrive around 11:14am
Park: Epcot
Lunch / Snack: International Arts Festival food booths
Dinner: The Garden Grill
Fast passes: Spaceship Earth, Soarin' and Living with the Land
Extras: meet up with Allie, Jon and Penny and going to the Broadway series concert

Day 2 (Saturday)
Park: Disney's Hollywood Studios & Epcot
Breakfast: Sanaa (if they are still serving breakfast) or Mara
Lunch and Dinner: TBD - probably quick service
Fast passes: Toy Story Midway Mania
Extras: Arts Festival Seminar with Disney Legend Marty Sklar. Surprise my niece and nephew

Day 3 (Sunday)
Park: Epcot
Breakfast: Mara
Lunch: TBD - quick service
Dinner: Art Smith's Homecoming
Fast passes: Mission Space, Test Track, Nemo

Day 4 (Monday)
Park: Magic Kingdom
Breakfast: TBD
Dinner: Be Our Guest
Fast passes: Space Mountain, Cinderella Meet, Tomorrowland Speedway (my nephew's favorite)

Day 5 (Tuesday) - my friend's in-laws who live in Florida are coming up for a couple of days. I am venturing off on my own so they can have family time.

Park: Universal / Islands of Adventure (yes, I am leaving the bubble). I have been wanting to see the Harry Potter stuff, so this was the perfect opportunity.
Breakfast and Lunch: - TBD
Dinner: Hard Rock Cafe (I try to eat at HRC if there is one if a city I am visiting. I haven't been to the Orlando one yet).
Extras: Made a fast pass for Frozen Ever After if I am not too tired when I get back

Day 6 (Wednesday)
Park: Disney's Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios
Breakfast: Tusker House
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: Mama Melrose
Fast passes: Safari, Finding Nemo and Expedition Everest
Extras: Foot and leg massage at Grand Floridian. I did this in October and it was a great mid-trip treat.

Day 7 (Thursday)
Park: Disney's Animal Kingdom & Magic Kingdom
Breakfast: Boma
Lunch: TDB
Dinner: Cinderella's Royal Table
Fast passes: Expedition Everest, Lion King, Disney Pals meet

Day 8 (Friday)
Park: Epcot
Breakfast: Ohana
Lunch & Dinner: TBD
Fast passes: Frozen Ever After

Day 9 (Saturday)
Park: Magic Kingdom
Dinner: Chef Mickey's
Fast passes: Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Rapunzal meet

Day 10 (Sunday)
Park: none
Departing at 8:00am. Sad

I booked an early flight so I would have time to get laundry done and rest up before going back to work on Monday. The company I worked for was bought out by another company last summer. I learned after I booked my flight that we have President's Day off (we didn't have it off at my previous company). Had I know that I would have taken the later flight which is what my friends are taking. I checked to see what it would cost to change it but it was more than I wanted to spend. I even looked to see about changing to Monday (Disney math - when it makes perfect financial sense to add an extra day).

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JMed's picture
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WOW!!!! Sounds amazing! Can't wait to see pics and hear all about it!

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danijrod's picture
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What an amazing surprise for your niece and nephew mickey Can't wait to here all about it.

JoAnn C's picture
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Getting some pre-trip pampering tonight. Keeping an eye on the weather. 8-15 inches of snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Ugh

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JoAnn C's picture
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Jet Blue has canceled a bunch of flights already for tonight and tomorrow. Hoping there is a plane for my flight Friday morning.

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If you're any kind of Harry Potter fan you'll love the Potter-themed lands at Universal. Totally worth a trip outside the bubble.

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wow that will be a great surprise can't wait to hear all about it!

also fingers crossed the weather eases up for your flight!

JoAnn C's picture
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So far, my flight is still on. I will be checking obsessively all day.

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Have a fantastic trip! Can't wait to read all about it!

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Car has been dug out and ready for travel to the airport in the morning.

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JoAnn C wrote:
Car has been dug out and ready for travel to the airport in the morning.

Safe flight JoAnn! Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

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Have a great trip! Bummed I'm missing you by a few days sad

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JoAnn C's picture
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Spook wrote:
Have a great trip! Bummed I'm missing you by a few days sad

Me too. We will have to meet up in November.

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JoAnn C's picture
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Still at the airport. Waiting for the crew. As soon as they arrive, we will start boarding. They should be here in about 15 minutes.

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We finally departed yesterday around 9:30 (original time was 8:00). My room was ready when I got to the resort. I love it.

I went to Epcot hoping for a quick hello with Allison, but they had to leave earlier than planned so I just missed them. I was starving when I got there. I got something to eat at Electic Umbrella. After I ate, I got my pass for the passholder reserved section for the Broadway Concert Series. Before walking to World Showcase, I rode Soarin' and Living with the Land.

I really enjoyed the concert. It was two performers from the Lion King stage show - Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White. Alton was in over 4,000 shows. They sang songs from The Lion King, Alladin, The Little Mermaid and one more that I can't remember.

I had a 7:20 ADR for Garden Grill. I was able to get in early. I like dinner there but I think I will stick with breakfast. After dinner I came back to Kadani and explored the resort. I managed to get lost on the fourth floor. I used a different elevator and thought I went the right way - wrong!

When I found my way back to my room, it was time to call it a night.

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Started this morning at breakfast at Sanaa. I am going to DHS to ride Toy Story before going to Epcot for the seminar with Marty Sklar.

Then it will be time for the big surprise. Their flight is delayed. We may get to their resort around the same time.

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I went out to the bus stop but decided to go back to my room to get my jacket. I used the doors closer to the bus stop and not the lobby. I almost went the wrong way. I caught myself before getting too far.

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The seminar with Marty Sklar was awesome. I am so glad I went. He talked about his time with Disney. He had some pictures and videos to share and answered questions at the end.

I got to Bay Lake Towers not long after my friends arrived. I went to their room and they had the kids answer the door they were surprised. We has lunch in the Contempo Cafe and went back to their room. I hung out with the kids while they unpacked. They wanted to rest up a little before dinner. I was going to go to Animal Kingdom to try to catch Rivers of Light. I figured since I was in the neighborhood I would stop in MK first. I stayed longer than I planned and knew I wasn't going to make it time, so I came back to Kadani. I had the bread service at Sanaa Lounge for dinner.

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JoAnn C's picture
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On Sunday morning, we met at Epcot at opening and went straight to Soarin' which was only about a 20 minute wait. After Soarin', we rode Living with the Land and Nemo (the kids wanted to ride with me on this one). We had some time before our FP for Mission Space. I showed them where the DVC Members Lounge was (this was their first trip since joining). We relaxed there for a little while and then headed to Mission Space. I will admit I was a little leary about this ride. I figured if the kids can do it, so can I. We went on the green side and it wasn't bad at all. I would ride it again.

After the ride, we went to Electric Umbrella for lunch. After lunch, we met Joy and Sadness. We didn't have time for Baymax because it was time for Test Track. I love this ride. After TT, we went to meet Baymax and rode Spaceship Earth before heading out of the park.

We met in Disney Springs for dinner at Art Smith's Homecoming - delicious. The deviled eggs were the best I ever had (shhh - don't tell my mom).

We called it a night after dinner (stopping at Sprinkles before leaving). I didn't buy anything there. I got the hummingbird cake to go. I had planned on trying some before bed but fell asleep when I sat down. It was a long day and we had another on coming up.

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JoAnn C wrote:

We met in Disney Springs for dinner at Art Smith's Homecoming - delicious. The deviled eggs were the best I ever had (shhh - don't tell my mom).

RIGHT!? These are *so* good!

What a great surprise this was for the kids. I love that you did the Marty Sklar thing, that was something that I thought sounded pretty awesome.

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Great trip report so far! And we WILL be meeting up in November. It is going to happen! awesome