20 Years Later - A Disney Story

It occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that this September marks the 20th anniversary of my first trip to Disney as an adult. ( I went once with a huge extended family trip when I was in 8th grade.)

So its fitting that I ended up changing my GDT reservation to AKL - which is the resort where it started and where my Disney love began. Fun fact- This year is also AKL’s 20th anniversary, but it wasn’t open this April :frowning:

I remember being in a strip mall and seeing an ad for WDW in the window of a travel agency and thinking, " We should take DS it would be fun!" He was 2 at the time. I went in and asked for a brochure and that’s when I fell in love with AKL. It had just opened, and the brochure was heavily promoting it. I was hooked. I ended up finding my way to the DIS of all places and became a planning maniac. I booked a trip for early September 2001. Magical Express didn’t exist then, and I remember feeling so fancy pulling up to AKL in a towncar. It was the most expensive trip we’d ever taken, as we had eloped. AKL blew us away. From the immersive décor to the cultural representatives, we had fallen in love. So much so, that on 9/9/2001, the day before our departure on 9/10, we tried to extend our stay to 9/11/2001, but we couldn’t find a flight with available seats. Fortune smiled on us that day. I remember watching the horror from my front porch and thinking that I could’ve been in the air at that very moment.

Tragedy aside, AKL became a home to us, and we visited many times over the years between 2001-2009. We had 2 kids then and they both loved Disney World. Then we moved to AZ, and the economy took a crap on all of us. We came home to NJ a few years later, but the damage was done, and we didn’t get back to WDW until 2019. That trip was just as magic as the the first, even though the 2 little kids from that time were now grown… but life often has surprises, and now we have a new little one who I think loves WDW even more than his siblings did! He’s my enabler, lol. :smiling_imp:

And now, it all comes full circle, just a week later than that trip 20 years ago. This time its only for a few days, and I’m solo. I’ve spent 20 years making the magic happen for my family and this is the first time I’ve traveled solo that wasn’t work related. So I’m trying to make this trip magic for me. I initially overplanned a bit, and I think I’ll be doing a lot of on the fly revisions but its still good. “Yeah, still good.”

So, that’s the pre trip report. The goal is to live report some, but do a daily recap more often than not. Heres the deets:
AKL Savanna View Room.
Got a killer upgrade deal on airfare and flying in First both ways. (Treat Yo Self!)
Getting my last ride on ME (its now the Tragical Express both ways :frowning: )
I’ll be meeting @ppehap for dinner on my arrival day, 9/18. (At the Boathouse!!! Yum.)
9/19 AK park
Breakfast at Tusker House probably have an appetizer and a drink at Y&Y (I have a Landrys gift card and am a Select Club member.)
Boo Bash that night. I have an ADR for CG, but I’m honestly waffling on it bc they changed the menu and it doesn’t look as good for the money now. I’m leaning towards Coco for my Boo Bash “costume” So if you see me, say hi!
This is the supposed Space 220 open day so I’m REALLY hoping to snag a late lunch there. Late dinner at Topolinos or CRT if I can reschedule my lost breakfast.
Breakfast at Boma, then probably going to fit in Disney Springs before my afternoon flight home.

Skipping HS this time. I’m not a coaster person and there’s just not enough to do there alone if you’re not into thrill rides.

So here we go!! Stay Tuned.


FUN!! AKL is my favorite hotel. There’s no other location that feels so much like home to me. Safe travels!


Funny, my first trip as an adult was also 20 years ago this year. It was supposed to be September for our honeymoon - but we were scheduled to fly out 9/12/01. Needless to say, we pushed back to October (and it was still weird flying just a month later). DH and I are heading back next week without DS for our anniversary trip. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


And maybe we’ll see you at Disney Springs on the 21st! We’re planning lunch there before we do Boo Bash that night.


OH that would be awesome if it worked out! I love Liner Meets!


Sounds fantastic! I too love AKL. I never thought I would be able to afford to stay there, but the pandemic made it happen! We got a great deal on a confirmed DVC reservation last August and it was amazing! I’ve stayed again (DVC) three times! I would stay there every time if I could. And I haven’t even experienced the cultural representatives yet, so I expect to like it even more in the future.

Can’t wait to follow along! I arrive late-ish on 9/20 for our Fab Five trip, but don’t think we have an opportunity to overlap. :frowning:


Have a great trip! Solo trips are so fun!


My trip next July will be 30 years after my first visit - I was a teenager with my parents and siblings, we stayed in a motel on the 192.

Hope you have a great time, I’d love to go solo.


I just checked our plans and we’ll be at DS on the 18th as well for dinner at Wine Bar George. If the stars align we should liner meet!


They’re right by each other too! We’ll be eating at 6.


Fantastic! We’re eating at 7:45. I’ll reach out if we end up there early. Our plans are kind of fluid.


AKL is on my Disney bucket list! Have a great trip! I’m looking forward to your report.

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So - detour!!!
I’m going to try to get into Space 220 on opening day. So I ditched my MK plans in the morning and will hop over later most likely.


Looking forward to being at WDW with you!

Albeit virtually.

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I leave tomorrow!!! :confetti_ball:
However, the universe is conspiring to make my life as chaotic as possible before then :rage:

Yesterday, I noticed water on the side of the fridge. So I pulled the fridge or a little to look behind, and the water line for my in door ice & water is leaking and spraying a fine mist of water all over the back. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
I called the home warranty people, and because of part delays and such, they can’t come out until 9/30!!!

So I had the unfortunate job of going into the crawl space to find the shut off valve. My house is almost 100 years old, so has been retrofitted for most of it modern conveniences. So that was a fun little hunt in the damp spider filled crawlspace where you have to crab walk to get around!!! I LOVE being the mechanical person :roll_eyes:

So now I’m behind on everything I need to do before tomorrow. There’s a few things I don’t want to pack until the end bc they’ll wrinkle. I still have to prep the cats seizure meds, youngest DS’s ADHD meds, and write out a timeline for DH to get DS off to school properly. (I live in a house full of neurodiverse people with executive function issues, so it’s always been my job to write out detailed instructions to keep people on track.)
Oh and oldest DS has a job interview today that I have to take him to.

But, on the bright side, I get to check in to my flight in an hour so yay!!!


You just navigated a spider infested crawl space. What are you going to do now?



OMG this is the best response ever!!! :heart:


Is that what that’s called?!?


Besides the instructions - and it’s not enabling, as some (who might be a sibling of mine) think. One of DH’s dreams was to go elk hunting, which doesn’t happen in Missouri. When our son in law was going elk hunting in Washington state, I bought DH tickets to fly to join the hunt.

He never remembered what day or time that flight was. Every few days he’d asked to be reminded.

Currently I also get to repeat every comment 3 times to both the folks I live with (85 and 17 years old).

To work off @TheSafetyLady 's comment,

Support neuro diverse individuals

Go to Disney World. #hero


Oh wow, I could not have done that. Sorry everything is so complicated.


I dunno about that. Some of your posts give you away as being “that person” who sucks it up and gets it done.

We just never know what we can do until the emergen - excuse me - opportunity presents itself.