First (pre)trip report posted here from a mostly lurker! Getting so excited it is hard to contain!
I am very fortunate to have Disney-loving parents. My dad went once to WDW as a kid in the late 70s, and my mom who grew up in northern CA always wished she could go to DL. After my younger brother was born, my parents took us to DW for the first time. It was love at first sight for all of us, honestly. We vacationed in many places other than WDW, but we always found ourselves coming back. 2012 had been our last trip, before we went in Feb 2018, the year I graduated high school. My parents were able to do WDW more times than I can count because of how frugally they tried to do it. We would pack lunches, stay off property, do about a park per day for only 4 days, etc. Never complained. I was just always grateful for the time with my family.
My partner (who had never been) and I went in Sept 2019, for about 10 days. Stayed at POP then finished up at WL. It was such a fun experience, but I wasn’t sure when it would ever be able to happen again. And not just because of COVID.
My dad had a silent heart attack in 2017, which has led to a painful health journey. A lot is due to his job (previously supervisor/manager working for the FAA) which puts lots of stress on him with little sleep and not enough time to care for himself. In 2019 he started Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD) which is done through fluids at home. We have had many health scares over the years, but my dad keeps pushing and waiting for a kidney donor (thank you to organ donors!!! <3). My mom supports him in every way she can, but between that and my debilitating mental illness (hello bipolar!), it puts a lot of stress on her too. I moved out in 2021, but between all of us, we have been exhausted. Which puts us to….
Around late 2021, I joked with my mom how I wish we could go to WDW again. Even if it was just the 2 of us. She loved the idea! In that process, I somehow convinced her to stay on property for a week. My mom is a huge animal lover just like I am, so AKL she was immediately sold on it. She asked if there would be giraffes, I said yes, and that was it! We planned for Jan 2023 at first and that’s what we booked, but due to some family health issues as usual, rescheduling was a must. My mom’s 50th birthday is on 4/21, so why not make it a birthday trip? Everything was all set until… my dad showed a hint of envy. After we gave him some time to think about it, we eventually added him to the reservation as well! So 2 then became 3, the trip then was paid off, and it was set in stone. My dad has his dialysis delivery set up in advance, rented an ECV, and everything we gotta do to make sure this trip is comfortable for everyone.
When: 4/18 - 4/25
Where: AKL (Standard, ADA)
Flights into MCO: 7:45am (mine) 1:50pm (parents)
Transportation: Sunshine Flyer
4/18: Magic Kingdom + AK
4/19: Magic Kingdom
4/20: Hollywood Studios
4/22: Animal Kingdom
4/23: Magic Kingdom/Rest Day
4/24: Hollywood Studios
4/20: Oga’s at 7:05pm
4/21: Coral Reef at 3:45pm with Garden Rocks tickets at 6:45pm
4/23: Sanaa at 1:05pm and Starlight Safari at 8:30pm
4/24: RRBBQ at 4:25pm
Goals of the trip:
A lot has been added and changed since they went in 2018, and me in 2019, but we know our priorities! Eating a sit-down meal isn’t a huge priority, since my dad doesn’t have a large appetite anymore, and eating before about 12pm can make him ill. There won’t be too many late evenings, but definitely rope-dropping in the morning!
My dad’s biggest goal is Galaxy’s Edge and just anything Star Wars. I already got him a special shirt and magic band themed for the occasion lol. Seeing the Millennium Falcon is a huge deal for him, and I am just excited to see his reaction.
My mom loves Toy Story, so Toy Story Land is one of her biggest priorities. So SDD is at the top of her list! We also got an ADR for the new restaurant, so very excited about that! We are also doing Epcot on her birthday. We are doing the Garden Rocks Concert package. My parents LOVE live music and A Flock of Seagulls will be playing, which is so exciting for my mom!
Me? The highest on my list for something new is probably TRON, if not just for the Daft Punk music. But at this point, I am just happy to go and have fun. As long as I am having fun with my parents, then the trip is a success!
Countdown… 16 days!