This past June, Cindy, Sophie and I planned to celebrate Sophie’s birthday at Walt Disney World. There were so many plans, and Sophie knew about all of them — where we wanted to eat, what we wanted to do, and where we planned to stay — but the one thing that Sophie had no idea about was that we had invited a secret fourth person to accompany us!
On Sunday evening, June 13th, at about 7:30 PM or so, our front doorbell rang. Since I knew who was coming, I told Sophie to get the door. As she did, she said, surprised, “Stephanie?” When she saw that it was, indeed, her cousin Stephanie, she opened the door the rest of the way and gave her a big hug!
As we were all hugging Stephanie, Sophie whispered to me “Daddy, why is she here?”. When she asked, I told her to ask Stephanie herself. Steph answered, “Well, I heard you were going on vacation, and I thought I would come along!”
As soon as Sophie heard that, she gave a squeal of delight and wrapped Stephanie up in a great big bear hug!
We had a wonderful vacation planned! It would all start with leaving on Monday, June 14th, and spending the night in Savannah, GA. Additionally, we were to spend Tuesday night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista before checking in at Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter on Wednesday, June 16th.
But first we had reservations for dinner on the 15th at the Captain’s Grille, a seafood restaurant at the Yacht Club over by the Disney Boardwalk. We decided to make reservations there because I was really in the mood for some crab legs, and also because my friend Beth used to be the hostess there! Our food was so good, I would eat there again in a heartbeat! After we ate, we walked around the Boardwalk. We had always wanted to do that, but had just never taken the time to do so. We enjoyed the Boardwalk immensely! We looked in some shops, we bought some trinkets, we watched a man doing a magic show that was quite humorous, and we enjoyed the walk around the lake.
|Disney’s Boardwalk as seen from across the pond!|
Wednesday the 16th was quite an interesting day, to say the least! We woke up normally, ate a quick breakfast at the Fairfield, and then packed the car and headed off to POFQ! We had decided early on that we would check-in early, entrust our luggage with the luggage people at the resort, and head over to the Magic Kingdom to enjoy the day until our room was ready. We had two things that we wanted to do that day. The first was to take advantage of our preferred seating location for the afternoon parade, and the second was to make our dining reservations at The Crystal Palace.
However, after we dropped off our luggage, we decided to go inside to use the rest rooms before heading over to the park. When we came out of the rest rooms, though, we started talking with a very nice lady about the one thing we had never ever looked into: the Disney Vacation Club. She was talking with us, and in the course of our conversation, we found out that we could get four days worth of fast pass tickets for all of us just by taking a tour of the facilities over at the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa.
We all talked it over, and decided that other than our dining reservations, we really could take some time to do the tour, so we decided to take her up on her offer. A vehicle took us over for the tour, and we met a lady named Johanna, who took us around and showed us the resort. She told us we were welcome to take a few pictures, so I did! I didn’t take many, but here are a few that I like.
|The fountain at Saratoga Springs|
|One of the train displays at the DVC location at Saratoga Springs.|
|A mural at the DVC location at Saratoga Springs.|
|Sophie, Piglet, and Stephanie|
|Sophie and Pooh|
|Steph and Minnie|
|Sophie and Minnie|
|Steph and Donald|
|The girls with Goofy!|
|Sophie’s Birthday Surprise — notice the card right by the desert?|
- Disney Resort Bus
- Water Taxi
- Ferry Boat
- Helium Balloon (Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney)
- Vacation Club Van
Actually, the girls didn’t do the Characters in Flight until Sophie’s birthday on the 19th, but you get the idea.
You know, as I write about our Disney experiences with Stephanie this past June, it occurs to me that there is so much that we did on our vacation that there is no way that I can get all of the Magic down in a blog post without making the post about a three day job to get it down. So, at the risk of disappointing my following of 10 on Networked Blogs, I’m going to show you the remaining parts of our trip via the pictures that we took. I hope you enjoy!
|The ghosts from The Tower of Terror!|
|Pluto with Steph and Sophie at The Garden Grill|
|Mickey and Sophie at The Garden Grill|
|He’s such a big player the girls had to have their pictures separately!|
|“And the winner is…Kermit the Frog!”|
|On Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney|
|Our lovely niece at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ!|
|Sophie is wearing her special “Minnie and Me” T-Shirt she created at Downtown Disney!|
|Sophie’s picture with Mickey and Minnie|
|We thought we were as wet as we could get — until it started pouring rain on top of it!|
|My only picture from “Finding Nemo — the musical” that turned out okay.|
|Our picture with Belle at Akerhus Royal Banquet Hall|
|Sleeping Beauty and the girls|
|Cinderella with the girls|
|Snow White with the girls|
|Ariel with the girls|
|Clownin’ around at the bus stop|
|Tink leading off the parade!|
|This parade is SO COOL — see it if you can!|
|Cinderella — and yes, she was looking right at me! (not!)|
|Pete’s Dragon — my favorite shot of the whole parade!|
|Mickey and Minnie riding with some lucky fans late night! It was 12:06 AM on an “Extra Magic Hours” night!|
|As cool a shot of the Castle as I can get at night. I’m quite pleased with it!|
|And in the day, still a nice shot I think.|
|Pirate Princess Sophie and her prisoners!|
|The Carousel of Progress — to this day one of my favorite attractions!|
|“Which way did they go, George?”|
|Even Georgette enjoyed the vacation, although all she did was stay in our room and read!|
I always have a great time when we visit Disney World, and this year, with Stephanie being able to enjoy it with us, it was just that much more special! We made so many memories, Stephanie is already “inviting herself” to come with us next time! I say, the more the merrier! Thanks for reading!