Just passed my last exam. Know what that means?

February 10-13, 2017

Let’s do this.


Happy planning!

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congratulations!! Enjoy a well deserved vacation!!

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Congratulation! Have a wonderful time!

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Congratulations! Have a great trip!

It’s 4:30 AM Pacific Time. I don’t have to be up until 5, but… Disney World!!

In November 2015, I enrolled in Western Governors University for a Bachelors Degree I could accomplish online. When I found out that they were holding their winter 2017 commencement ceremonies in Orlando, my motivation meter went off the charts. But in order to make the deadline, I would have to finish my degree in one year.

I already had some transfer credits, but I would still have to complete some 96 credit units to finish.

Short story long, I buckled down, made the grade, saved the Disney Visa points, booked the trip, and we’re off! My parents are joining us for their first trip, as well as our very good friends the H’s and the E’s.

We’re staying at the Boardwalk Inn and the E’s are in DVC at the Polynesian - they’re already there and their view is insane (see below).

But it’s no fun if you can’t bring friends, so I’d like to invite you to experience the trip with me via Instagram. I’m @thechindo and @waking.walt. If you want a 360º experience, follow my wife @dreefy and my buddy D @emslie22 too.

I’ll also post a photo trip report here as I have time.

C’mon everybody, here we goooooooooo!


Day One - February 10, 2017

Boarding Call @ LAX (Me and DW)

Arrived in MCO (Me, The Professor, The Nurse, DW, Ma & Pa)

Show me the way.

Gateway to fantasy.

At home on the Boardwalk!

The view from up here.

Sit in me.

Hippocampus Electrolier (click the pic to see the whole glorious image)

Western Governors University graduate mixer at Cornado Springs Resort - There’s a lot more people here then I expected to see.

With Sage the Night Owl, WGU’s mascot, and my awesome student mentor, John, who helped me complete my degree in time to make the celebration in Orlando!

Panchito in the gift shop at Coronado Springs - I’m a big fan of finding obscure characters in the parks, especially…

“…my little Burrito, and me.”

Racing to catch up with my family, I get to take a shortcut on my own.

Is this the most beautiful sight in the parks or what?

Quick monorail trip to meet them at Magic Kingdom before dinner at…


We showed those cousins who’s boss!


Love the pictures! What a great trip so far!

Day 2 - February 11, 2017

Sunrise on the Boardwalk (click to see full pic)

Crescent Lake (click to see full pic)

Breakfast at International Gateway

The Swan - I had to be at the graduation ceremony for check-in and line-up an hour earlier than the family, so I took a quiet walk to Hollywood Studios to catch a bus.

The backside of terror. (click to see full pic)

Early AM Emptiness

Lovely Lonliness

Made it to the Coronado and to the ceremony with time to spare!

Wow. This is for real. Next stop, Masters Degree! But first…

Magic Kingdom!

Poor Papa. We didn’t tell him we were all doing sunglasses. :slight_smile:

My favorite Disney Princess!

World of Tomorrow

Just a dream away!

This Mickey bar had no chance.

Peoplemover doin’ what it does best.

Movin’ people!

Starport 75

Space Castle?

Got my Pop on BTMM, despite all the health warnings. He loved it.

Liberty Belle

HM was down temporarily, so we raced over to use our temporary FPP at SM. To the stars!!

I don’t usually look this creepy. My wife gave me a Sour Patch Kid just as we got on the ride. This is me trying to get the goo off my teeth.

HM is open again so we race back by the spires…

…and into a mysterious, darkened chamber.

Paddle-wheeler Princesses.

Royal Riverboat

Liberty Belle’s Bell

The wrath of Thunder

Room for one more.

Clap your hands and stop your feet!

Ok. Don’t laugh. My favorite part of this trip to Disney World was sitting between my Mom and Dad at Country Bear Jamboree. The last time we did that was in the 1970s.

I almost cried. It was kinda perfect.

Don’t look up. Any guesses what this could be?

Survival Instructions

Did the Imagineers put the moon there on purpose?

Our host for dinner, Dr. Albert Falls

Awaiting their summons for dinner upon the veranda, or so they told me.

Lionfish for dinner. Alive, their poisoned spines can kill you. Dead, they can choke you to death. Either way, they’re delicious.

Skipper Emma kept us eating and laughing for nearly two and a half hours!

And she gave us a real jungle tour.

Prince Charming’s nighttime whirl.

Thank you, your majesty. It was a lovely day.

Goodnight, Magic Kingdom. Until we meet again…


OMG! I was smiling and laughing scrolling through your trip! Congratulations on earning your degree…and in such a compressed time period! I’m glad you got to celebrate with your family…especially at Country Bears Jamboree! That did seem perfect! Thank you for sharing!!

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Congrats on your graduation! My favorite picture of all is the one of you and your Pop on BTMR. His smile is fantastic!

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Congrats! Fab pictures!

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Looks like you had a fab time, the pictures are awesome!
Well done for getting your degree in such a short space of time, perhaps they should offer the Disney lure to many more students to get them motivated :wink: I know my son would work much harder for that!
Thanks for sharing :grinning:

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Congratulations! My mom was at that WGU event. She’s one of their professors. Small world!


Looks like a great trip so far, loving the pictures. Congratulations on your graduation!

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Day 3 - February 12, 2017

Rolling to Epcot from Boardwalk Inn - Ridey carts are a blessing and a curse. They couldn’t have done the trip without the scooters (Ma’s bad knees, and Pa’s broken back - it’s truly a miracle he’s not still in a hospital) but the scooters were the most challenging part.

Future Traveller Advice: Don’t just assume your scooter-bound companions are bad drivers. Get on the cart yourself and try to navigate from the Frontierland bathrooms to BTMRR. In that short distance you’ll find out how much of a challenge these things are. People are rude, blind, and they swarm around you, making it nearly impossible to keep a line of travel. It’s not as easy as it looks. I found out - a little too late in the trip - that if I walk behind my scooter buddy with my hands on the back of the seat, people see the cart coming or in their peripheral, and get out of the way a little better. I’m also allowed to be the rude one saying “excuse me, watch your step” at a height where other people can hear us.

True Fact: At California Adventure, Soarin’ ends at Disneyland. At Epcot, it ends at Epcot.

One day, we’ll enjoy the romance of real Paris, but for now…

Get the “Water of Life” from this guy. It’s not on the menu, but it’s what they really drink in Morrocco. You won’t be disappointed.

No spitting, please.

My Dad does a pretty good Donald Duck voice, or is it that Donald does a good impression of my Dad?

Voices of Freedom flippin’ blew them away! And the tears that flowed in the American Adventure made the whole trip worth the cost. Amazing.

Anybody know where this is? I broke some rules to get this shot. Sorry, security.

Same rule-breaking spot, another incredible shot!

This guy.

When in Rome… or Milan, or Venice, or wherever this is supposed to be.

Italy is a great place for pictures.

When the light in China is just right!

Get a goose from a troll. It’s a Disney tradition.

The day has ended. Let the nighttime begin.

We’ll take some of everything, danke.

After dinner and Illuminations, I let the rest of the group go back to the hotel while I explored a closing park.

Followed the crowds out to FutureWorld, then turned around to go back through an empty World Showcase.

Empty Mexico

Empty Norway

Empty China

Got as far as the drawbridge and was stopped to watch the barges go by.

Empty Africa

Empty Germany

Got stopped by the security sweep and sent back the other way. Disappointed I couldn’t go further, but thrilled I got to walk through Empty Epcot even more.

Empty Canada

Empty U.K.

Empty France

Empty Everything

Goodnight Empty Epcot. See ya real soon!

Back home at the Boardwalk


That’s awesome!!

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Once again lovely pictures! I like the ‘fez’ one and the empty UK one looks like my town at night!
My mum used to have a scooter and I used to get really cross with people completely ignoring her ( I’m sure wheelchair users get the same treatment) and I used to stand behind it and ask people politely (or not so, sometimes!) to get out of the way…gah! It gave her so much freedom though, it was worth it.

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congrats and Love the night Epcot pics!

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