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
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.
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 )
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.