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Old 05-01-2019, 08:28 PM   #1
DougS
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Default April 2019 Trip

Hey everyone, first time posting a trip report, so please be gentle!

We flew SW from Baltimore to Orlando, and had a surprisingly uneventful flight. That's a really good thing, since last years trip we were delayed in Baltimore 3-4 times, for an 8 hour slip. Landed fine, went down to Magical Express, which was interesting. I don't know if we've always been lucky before, but we had to wait in line almost 25 minutes before we were allowed to board a bus. I don't think we've ever waited more than 5 minutes before? For the party, it was DW and I, DD (4), DS (2), and nanny. Grandma joined us for the last few days.

Next we rode to Kidani Village. We'd seen Jambo House before, but never KV. Really cool welcome, great place, everyone loved the main room. We had a 2BR, which was nice and spacious, if in need of a bit of a touchup. They mentioned during check-in that the sleeper sofa was damaged and would be replaced during our stay, but we never saw it. The rooms are great, the layout worked perfectly for us, and the staff was super cool. My only gripes about KV were:
1) I understand that the layout is dictated by the desire to have as many balconies over the safari as possible, but the hike to the rooms was looooooong. We weren't even at the furthest location of the loop, and by the second trip we realized we'd need to plan at least 10 minutes to get from the room to the lobby, with a stroller.
2) KV is REALLY far from the parks. One of the staff clarified that is intentional, for the reduced noise and stress of the animals. I understand, but it still took us almost an hour to reach the parks on more than one occasion.
Overall, definitely worth the experience, but I doubt we'll go back any time soon.
The our first night there we just hung around KV, and went to dinner at Jiko. We went with 3 adults and 2 children, and I'd definitely recommend it. Great food, solid signature experience, and the kids even loved it.
First day at the parks was MK, and it was awesome. We started the day @ Chef Mickey's, after a MinnieVan over there. We took it the first day b/c we were running a bit late and didn't want to lose the reservation, but by the end of the week we were taking it almost once a day. It was just taking too long to take buses, especially after a long day w/ younguns. Chef Mickey was awesome as always, if a bit more crowded than we remember. I think the checkin line was 20 deep when we arrived, but it was 9:30, so I'm sure that contributed.

MK was awesome as always, but pretty crowded. Still, nothing but awesome times.

We had lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern, another favorite:


Then the boys headed over to the Harmony Barber Shop for DS' First Haircut:


And the girls went to Bibbity Boppity Boutique for makeovers:


Last thing for Day 1 was dinner at CRT:


Everything was amazing, and I can't remember every having such a perfect schedule in MK!!

This is getting long, so Day 2 in the next post!!
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)


Last edited by DougS; 05-01-2019 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:41 PM   #2
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Day Two was Epcot

I'm not the biggest fan of Epcot, but DW is, so it our next stop!!

First thing first: we didn't start early, breakfast wasn't until almost 10. This is where the Amazon order (Keurig, misc stuff), Grocery order (food, snacks, k-cups, etc), and OL really paid off. Having things in the room to tide us over until we got to the park was a necessity! Can say "Thanks" enough for all the help in getting both of those set up before the trip!

We started the day at Garden Grill, one of our favorite breakfasts.


Generally took it easy, hit a couple of rides, and walked around. Epcot is about the food for DW, Frozen for DD, and Nemo for DS. I think DS is now engaged to Anna, much to Elsa's chagrin...


As you can see, DD is much more the Elsa Fan:


Lunch was the fan favorite Akershus, he's actually telling her about Anna here...


We wrapped up a long, hot day at Coral Reef


All in, a great day at Epcot, if a bit challenging because the weather was so hot. It's tough with 2 little ones, even though we kept a shorter day, no park hopping, and only a few rides.
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)

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Old 05-01-2019, 08:43 PM   #3
DougS
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Day three, BREAK DAY!!

We had nothing planned for day three. We slept in, hung out at the pool, and hit packet pickup at the ESPN Zone. Everyone ran the Star Wars races over the weekend, so this was the day to decompress before them. Breakfast was in the room, lunch was counter service, and dinner was Boma.

The kids loved the pools, both the toddler area and the slides. I think it's safe to say that was our favorite part of KV!
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)

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Old 05-01-2019, 08:50 PM   #4
DougS
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Day Four: Hollywood Studios

It's my second favorite park, after MK, but no one else is really as crazy about it. I love the 20s Hollywood vibe, I dig the muppets, and of course STAR WARS!! Something tells me that once SWGE opens it'll never be the same, but it was great to hit it one more time before that happens.

First, DW and nanny ran the SW 5k. The challenge is that that it starts at 5:30, but you have to head to your corral by 5. And you have to be getting through security by 4:30. And the shuttles from the hotels run 3:30 -4. So it's an earrrrrly day. Oh, and it stormed. A LOT. There was a thunderstorm warning, and the corrals were evacuated at 5:34. Some runners were sent to buildings, others to buses. For an hour and a half. Instead of being done by 6-6:15, they didn't start running 'til 7. Instead of 10 starting waves, there was one mob. The course was compressed due to the weather, and they ran the whole time in the rain. Not a fun run, but done.

Good news: I didn't plan breakfast at a park, and that OL / grocery order paid more dividends.

We got to HS around 1030, hung out, did some rides and saw the SW parades. Lunch was Hollywood & Vine:


Dinner was the Brown Derby, but you're going to have to take my word for it, because I can't find a single picture!

Then we were back to the room earlish, b/c I had a race in the AM.
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)

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Old 05-01-2019, 09:06 PM   #5
DougS
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Day 5 was another race and Magic Kingdom again!

The SW 10k was that day's main event, and I ran by myself. Same schedule (bus, corrals, etc), but I didn't have rain. A ton of humidity, but the weather held out. I planned to run easy, and maybe walk a bit, but that didn't happen. I pushed harder than I should have, and it would come back to haunt me tomorrow.
Still, another finish in the books, continuing my unbroken streak:

Head back to the room, change, eat, then off to ESPN zone for the kids races! Both DD and DS did the 100m dash!! Super hot, but they both finished and got their first medals ever!


A couple of FPs (Splash mountain given the heat), then cooling off for lunch in the Crystal Palace:


A bunch more hanging out, some shopping, then the traditional pre-race carbo loading at Tony's Town square. This is one that we do every year before the half marathon, so of course I forgot to take pictures again...
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)


Last edited by DougS; 05-01-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:17 PM   #6
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Day 6 - Half Marathon!!

The week is getting long by now, early morning rises, the heat and yesterday's race got to me. I was determined to take it easier for the half marathon, and I ended up not really having a choice. I finished, but really didn't have a choice but to walk by mile 5. I'd like to say that I pushed too hard leading up to the half, but (as you can see) I didn't train enough over the winter. Let's just say that I finished 30 minutes behind last year, largely due to the nearly 30 extra pounds that I'm dragging around lately.

Either way: free photo op with the Ewoks, and another RunDisney half finish:



The last day in the park was Animal Kingdom. The only time I'd been there was to run through for the races, and I really have to say that it's underrated IMO. Pandora is amazing, and the kids really loved the whole place. I didn't think we were getting DS away from the Dino rides, and DS dug the drum fun! Daddy loved the fact that I was granted a 2 hr power nap while the rest head over to AK, and I met them for lunch!!

Lunch was at Tusker House:



We all went back to the room, and DW and I ditched the kids w/the nanny for the last dinner there. Grandma timed a trip to visit my Brother & Sister in Laws, who live in FL. Grandma and BiL met us for the last tradition: Celebratory Post-Race Dinner at Yachtsman!!
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)


Last edited by DougS; 05-01-2019 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:38 PM   #7
DougS
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The next day we flew home, thankfully uneventfully!

I think that's about all the info I'd share. The only thing I skipped over was that we toured the Riviera model, the first time we'd been to the preview center. Very impressive rooms, but I've already posted that in another thread.

This is my first trip report, so comments / suggestions / recommended improvements welcome!
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(ME, Doug) (DW, Analeen) (DS 20, Daniel) (DD 5, Alyssa) (DS 3, Drew)
1978 - First Trip - Contemporary
1988 - WDL Offsite
1989 - Caribbean
2013 - Disney Cruise Line
2015 - Grand Floridian
2016 - Caribbean Beach Club
2017 - All Star Movies
2018 - CCV
2019 - AKV (Trip Report)
2020 - DRR (April)

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Old 05-01-2019, 10:50 PM   #8
Jedimom3
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Thanks for sharing all of the fun and pictures. Congrats on all the races!
Great, great pictures of meet/greets. Kids are precious!!! really great pics with Anna, Elsa, and the rest. So cute!

we enjoyed our recent Kidani stay, We were also WAAAAY down that long hall.
Hope to try Jiko soon. Always enjoy Boma!

First haircut at Disney!! that's a cool memory for sure. We did that with our youngest. our DD wouldn't agree to a haircut, or she would've had her first one there too....

Thanks again.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:25 PM   #9
Brian5581
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Excellent report and pictures! Thanks for taking the time to share. Always enjoy being able to see the whole family... and the Princesses, of course.

Congratulations on the races!
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:15 AM   #10
debabe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougS View Post

Next we rode to Kidani Village. We'd seen Jambo House before, but never KV. Really cool welcome, great place, everyone loved the main room. We had a 2BR, which was nice and spacious, if in need of a bit of a touchup. They mentioned during check-in that the sleeper sofa was damaged and would be replaced during our stay, but we never saw it. The rooms are great, the layout worked perfectly for us, and the staff was super cool. My only gripes about KV were:
1) I understand that the layout is dictated by the desire to have as many balconies over the safari as possible, but the hike to the rooms was looooooong. We weren't even at the furthest location of the loop, and by the second trip we realized we'd need to plan at least 10 minutes to get from the room to the lobby, with a stroller.
2) KV is REALLY far from the parks. One of the staff clarified that is intentional, for the reduced noise and stress of the animals. I understand, but it still took us almost an hour to reach the parks on more than one occasion.
Overall, definitely worth the experience, but I doubt we'll go back any time soon.
Everyone that I invite to WDW wants to stay at AKL. So, I usually stay there only the first two-three days due to the exact reasons you stated. After visiting AK and exploring the AKL fully, we move to a Disney Resort much closer to the other Parks.

Your trip report was great! Lovely family -- great photos. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Thank you for sharing!
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