Mother/Daughter Trip of (Mostly) Firsts

Me (north side of 50yo)
Dd (20yo)
Last trip for both of us was July, 2018!

Back in the spring I finally received the okay to attend my conference that happens to be in Clearwater Beach this year and I immediately started looking at the logistics of a post-conference visit to hang w/ my favorite mice.

It started out as a solo trip since when I floated the idea past dh he was quite happy to let me go alone so I wouldn’t “drag them all over the parks from dawn to the wee hours.” I started making plans and it gave dd the idea to get a few of her friends for a trip this summer, but when that fell through she happily agreed to join me …especially as I was paying! Even though dd has definitely indicated her preferences over the last few months, when I ask specific planning questions …her reply for the most part is “Whatever you want mom, this is your trip!”

Dd’s younger brother (15yo) has a lot of dietary preferences and even though we have traveled to WDW many times as a family (as well as two trips to DL/DCA), all of our dining experiences revolve around if there is something on the menu for ds to eat, …and me not wanting to pay adult buffet prices for a plate of pasta, some rolls, and dessert! While we definitely have our favorites places to eat that we enjoy every time we visit, there are SO many that we have still never experienced!

This is our chance!

Tampa – 9/24-9/30
WDW – 9/30-10/5

I leave PA on the afternoon of Friday, 9/24 and fly to Tampa. I will Uber to our conference hotel and pretty much stay in the conference bubble there (everyone involved in the conference had to provide proof of vaccination) until the following Thursday morning. I have a “boot camp” for most of the day Saturday to prepare me for my next certification level, and the conference kicks off later in the day on Sunday. I am hoping to get a peek at the beach on Sunday because I won’t see much of it for the rest of the week (they keep us busy)!

The conference wraps up on Wednesday night. On Thursday I will sleep late, pack, check out, and Uber back to the Tampa airport. Once there I will rent a car (Note: Alamo was the only company to not charge a one way fee) and dd arrives on a 1ish flight. Google maps shows that the Poly is just about 1.5 hours from the Tampa airport. I am planning on stopping at the Target just off the Davenport exit to grab some drinks and fill up the gas tank. Once we arrive at the Poly, we will empty the car (either w/ bell services or in our room if ready), then head over to the Car Care Center to drop off the vehicle.

We will primarily be relying on WDW transportation during our stay. I have DME set up for our last day, but may call an audible and do an Uber depending on how we feel.

Polynesian – 9/30-10/3
Pop Century – 10/3-10/5

The trip started out with us at AoA (new to us), but then we had an opportunity to rent a few nights of points at the Poly (also new to us) so we switched to a split stay. Pop then opened up with availability so we changed AoA to Pop to be closer to the Skyliner and buses than the Little Mermaid rooms at AoA. So while Poly is a first for us, Pop will not be …but that is okay, I am will to save some $$ and be a bit closer.

I am beyond excited to stay at the Polynesian for the first time! Our TP room request went in for the 3rd floor in Tokelau, but I am sure whatever we get will be fabulous. Apparently the “soft refurb” should be done with very few days to spare before the anniversary celebration kicks off on the first.

Will write with more of our plans tomorrow. With me being out of the office for 8 business days, I am slammed getting stuff done before I leave …and I am sure my inbox will be filled when I get back!

When I post pictures in the countdown thread it is for our WDW arrival next week, but I need to be packed and ready this Thursday night! I have a 9am call w/ work for an hour Friday morning and then we will need to leave for the airport soon after. I know I will get it all done, but I am not sure how much sleep will happen since there are only 24 hours in a day!


Sounds like fun!


Have a great trip. Look forward to following along!!
Seems like cruel and unusual punishment for the conference to keep you away from the beach! :scream:


We have been in so many wonderful places for this conference, but it is quite intensive (and fun!) so we don’t end up seeing much of where we are.

I am a presentation designer, and this is a conference for anyone connected to presentations/presenting. We basically geek out on presenting and data visualization for four days straight. These are my people! On Monday night we actually stay up until the wee hours at the “guru” session comparing notes on major issues we face w/ software and other presentation dilemmas.

They will get us out to the beach (or at least the pool/patio) on Tuesday night, but most of the daylight hours will be spent indoors and not lazing by the pool or ocean.


The conference sounds like an amazing opportunity and I am excited to follow along on your trip

1 Like

:heart_eyes: Sounds like so much fun! Enjoy every second.

It’s finally here! I look forward to following along!

We (I) had a goal of only trying new to us dining options. I will bend a bit on some QS, but the rest of our plans are all first-time experiences for us. …with one exception. Dd and I last did a Mom/Daughter trip for her 7th birthday and one of the highlights was breakfast at CRT on the morning of her birthday. We will be returning to the Castle on our last morning. I will not be ordering a chocolate slipper dessert this time, and she doesn’t have a Cinderella dress to wear.

The plan:

Snack – Captain Cooks or Trader Sam’s (we will see we can get on the list)
Dinner – ‘Ohana (A local friend of dd’s will be joining us)

Breakfast/Snack – Yak & Yeti (CS)
Lunch – Yak & Yeti (TS)**
Lounge - Trying to visit the Sacred Space in the late afternoon
Dinner – California Grill (Fireworks!!)

Breakfast/Snack – Sleepy Hollow
Lunch – Skipper Canteen
Dinner – Liberty Tree Tavern

Breakfast/Snack – Winging it. Not sure of the plan yet with ROTR up in the air. Maybe something in GE or maybe Woody’s.
Lunch – Docking Bay 7
Dinner – Sci Fi Dine In
Lounge - Oga’s (2x) One is at park close and one just after dinner. I will decide which to keep the day before.

Breakfast/Snack – Pop Century Food Court
Lunch – F&W
Dinner – La Hacienda de San Angel (Fireworks!!)

Breakfast – Cinderella’s Royal Table
Lunch – TBD

**There are 8 hours between our Yak & Yeti and California Grill ADRs. They were closer but at @OBNurseNH 's wise suggestion I moved Y&Y to earlier in the day so we have enough time to work up an appetite for CG!

Securing dining reservations has been an ongoing challenge. I used a leading reservation and WDW didn’t release availability until later than 60+10. The ever-changing rules were a bit frustrating.

In order to get all of the above, the efforts combined the leading reservation, stalking the site, using TP’s Reservation Finder and finally I resorted to paying for a month of Mousewatcher in order to tweak ‘Ohana’s timing and get a reservation for CRT. I still want to move both ‘Ohana (currently 8pm, would prefer 8:45pm) and CRT (currently 8:30am, would prefer 9:45/10:00am) to a little bit later.

Our CG and La Hacienda reservations were purposefully planned so we could avoid the crowds for both of the new fireworks shows.

I am very excited to try all these new dining experiences!


Had the “Honey I want to go back in July for The Epic Liner Meet-up so I think I should upgrade to an AP on the first day of my trip” conversation w/ dh last night.

It’s happening!!! :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face: :partying_face:

Afterwards I actually told him that I was surprised I didn’t have to work harder to get him to agree. He was surprised that I was surprised. :rofl:

Now I need to nail down exact dates…but that can be decided after we get back from this trip! :sunglasses:


Have a great trip! Alamo is the only car rental place i’ll use because they sponsor the TTA :slight_smile:

1 Like

But does she have a blue shirt to wear?

LOL, probably. When we were last at MK (her 17th birthday) she was Disney Bounding as Belle. I am pretty sure she is planning on wearing some of her Haunted Mansion clothing. There is a lot so I am not sure what exactly it will be.

To be honest, I am not sure what dd has planned for any of the parks this visit. She is flying down to meet me next week so it will be a surprise for all of us! :upside_down_face:


Oh to be young and svelte enou - nope, why don’t they make interesting clothing for mature but fun minds in real life bodies. :wink:

Except the kid that lives with us just got a pair of boots from her gramma. I never could have worn such as these, ever. I’d have fallen off and hurt myself.


Hooray for the AP! Just a word of caution. I upgraded my DD’s tickets two nights ago for our upcoming trip which is just after yours. The first CM I talked to encouraged me to wait until I got there, “I guarantee you will not lose your park reservations!’. However the CM who actually did the transaction said that yes, we could have. She did have to cancel the DD’s park reservations on their 5-day tickets and make new ones on their AP’s during the call. So, I would encourage you to call now and do your upgrade in hopes of being able to keep your park dates. Or if you couldn’t, wait until close to the end of your trip to upgrade.

ETA: after checking for you, looks like there is nothing available for AP on the 1st right now and no MK on the 2nd. So you might be better off waiting for now.

Hmm, I am staying on site so wouldn’t that supercede AP reservation availability?

I was planning on waiting until we arrived.

I need it to be activated from our first day so we can have PhotoPass up and running, otherwise I would have to pay $169 for MemoryMaker and hope they pull that into the equation when I upgrade to the AP.

UGH! Why does this have to be so difficult!

So I know I had some park reservations based on resort reservations and an inactive AP certificate on my account. Since APs became available when I switch park reservations it made me book as a pass holder with resort reservations which is different than it was before.

If I am standing in front of them looking pathetic can they make it happen?

As of right now, the 1st and 2nd are the issues (AK & MK respectively).

If I were you I would try and do it at MK so at least you know you have access those first 2 days.

We are at MK for a few hours on 9/30, then full days at Animal Kingdom on 9/1 and MK on 9/2.

YES, actually on the new system when you go to make a park reservation as an AP there is a separate button to click if you also have a resort reservation. I couldn’t check that as ours doesn’t start that early, so it might be worth calling and asking if there is availability as a resort AP guest. Or maybe someone else on here can check?

ETA: This separation allows the extra number of park reservations based on the resort stay, not sure if it accesses a separate bucket or not.