Trip Reports

March 2013
Sisters only trip with LaRae to celebrate Joanna's 30th birthday! This trip report is different as it features 30 Magical Moments for her 30th!

These will post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

30 Magical Moments: How Sisters Trip 2013 Came to Be: Joanna turned 30! What better place to celebrate than Walt Disney World? Read about how the trip came to be and what LaRae and Joanna did to get ready for the spur of the moment vacation!
30 Magical Moments: #1 Get a Birthday Button: Who knew one little button could bring so much magic?
30 Magical Moments: #2 Ride Ellen's Energy Adventure: The first day starts in Epcot, but who knows where it will lead!
30 Magical Moments: #3 Enjoy a Wine Flight in the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar: A little hole in the wall location to eat in the World Showcase proved tasty & bubbly!
30 Magical Moments: #4 Try a Pastry in Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie: Sometimes Magical Moments are things you do every single trip...
30 Magical Moments: #5 Get a FREE Disney Visa Meet and Greet Photo: Are you a Disney VISA Cardholder? Do you know about the special character meet and greet area in Innoventions in Epcot?  You can get a free 5x7 photo by showing your Disney VISA!
30 Magical Moments: #6 Devour a White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake: Seeing is believing! This cupcake is delicious, gorgeous, and like nothing you've ever had before!
30 Magical Moments: #7 Ride Dinosaur with my Eyes OPEN!: Can Joanna accept and complete the challenge of finally riding Dinosaur with her eyes open? Also, the story of the most awkward rendition of the Birthday Song is told!
30 Magical Moments: #8 Sketch in the Animation Academy: Learning how to sketch a Disney character in the Animation Academy speaks to the creative side of LaRae and Joanna. Also, the question of "how bad is it really in Hollywood Studios with droves of cheerleaders there?" is answered.
30 Magical Moments: #9 Be Refreshed by a Lapu Lapu: Relax with us at the Polynesian Resort in the Kona Cafe while sipping a Lapu Lapu adult beverage from a pineapple.
30 Magical Moments: #10 Get a FREE Birthday Sandwich at Earl of Sandwich: This Magical Moment is even sweeter because it's FREE! Have you tried this popular dining spot in Downtown Disney?
30 Magical Moments: #11 Delight in a Birthday Cake Pop: A sweet treat from a sweet sister made this Magical Moment even better!
30 Magical Moments: #?? Break for Magical Bathrooms in the Magic Kingdom: Yes, that's right, it's a post about the Tangled bathrooms! OK bathrooms AND some beauty shots of the Magic Kingdom at night!
30 Magical Moments: #12 Prank Call Someone from the England Phone Booths: Sisters, no matter their age, can be quite silly when they're together. Also, get a quick tip about the Disney VISA Rewards card.
30 Magical Moments: #13 Grab a Glass of Sparkling Wine at the Flower & Garden Festival:  Of all places, the wine I was most looking forward to was found the Morocco Booth! Have you "wined" your way around the World Showcase?

November 2012
Family trip with Joanna and her family (sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew) and guest appearances by her parents. Join us as we take a Disney Cruise and once again visit Walt Disney World during a peak season!

The Pre-Trip Report That Should Have Happened - A brief accounting of how this Disney Cruise and Walt Disney World trip came to be.
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 1 - Getting There - How do you get to Florida from Texas, and just how do you get to the port instead of WDW? 
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 1 - Lunch & Dreamy Cabins - Board the Disney Dream, have lunch in the Enchanted Garden, and explore the cabins with us!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 1 - Sailing Away - The Sailing Away Party is a fun one, but who knew the sunset would be so perfect too?
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 1 - Dining in the Enchanted Garden - The dinners on the Disney Dream deserve a post all their own!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 2 - A Visit to the Rainforest - My sister surprised my mom & I with day passes to the Rainforest Room!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 2 - Cruising Through Nassau - We may have stopped in Nassau, but there was so much fun to be had on the ship that we didn't get off the Dream!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 2 - Dining at the Royal Palace - Our 2nd dinner was in the Royal Palace, and it was a real treat! Join us for Pirate Night!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 3 - Castaway Cay - If you've ever wanted to spend a day on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, this post is for you!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 3 - BINGO! - There may not be a casino on board Disney Cruise Ships, but you can play bingo!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 3 - Dining at Animator's Palette - Curious about the Shrimp Cheesecake? I was too! 
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 4 - Walking the Plank! - Disembarkation Day on the Dream is as smooth as a dream but still a bit sad for us.
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 4 - Great, Flaming Hot Dogs! - We finally arrive at Disney's Hollywood Studios, try a new restaurant, and ride a few rides.
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 4 - Staying Off-Property - For the first time ever, my family stayed at a non-Disney Resort. Check out Wyndham Bonnet Creek with us!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 4 - The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights - A nighttime stroll through Disney's Hollywood Studios proves quite enlightening!
Thanksgiving at Universal: A Trip Report - Day 5 - Hogwarts Hogwarts Hoggy Warty Hogwarts! - That's right! We left Disney World for a day to go over to Universal to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This post is all about Hogwarts including tons of photos of inside and outside of the castle.
Thanksgiving at Universal: A Trip Report - Day 5 - Seuss Landing - The whimsical world of Dr. Seuss' beloved stories comes to life in Seuss Landing. Join us for some green eggs & ham!
Thanksgiving at Universal: A Trip Report - Day 5 - Wizardly Shopping in Hogsmeade - Katelyn and Joanna work their way through the shops in Hogsmeade. Plenty of photos ahead!
Thanksgiving at Universal: A Trip Report - Day 5 - Dining in the Three Broomsticks - Wizarding dinner and final photo ops in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Thanksgiving in Orlando: A Trip Report - Day 5 - The Battle of the Castles - Now that she has visited both, Joanna breaks down the differences between Walt Disney World and Universal in a vs style competition for points. Both parks have positives over the other. See if you agree!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 6 - Enchanted Tales with Belle - Getting to explore New Fantasyland was a dream come true! This post is dedicated to one of the new attractions: Enchanted Tales with Belle. Think your kiddos are too old? Think again!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 6 - Ariel's Undersea Adventure - Disneyland's attraction finally made its way east! Descend into the seas and take an adventure with Ariel.
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 6 - FastPassing Fantasyland - How to make the most out of a morning in Fantasyland using FastPasses and regular queue plus haircuts on Main Street, USA!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 6 - Shop 'Til You Drop! - Downtown Disney at night is a blast, but it can be exhausting after a long day in the parks!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 7 - Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow - EPCOT first thing in the morning! Is there anything better?
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 7 - Like a Grand and Miraculous Spaceship... - Spaceship Earth is so gorgeous that it deserves its own post!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 7 - Return to Magic Kingdom - Tomorrowland needed some attention, so this evening was dedicated to the future!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 8 - A Morning in the Studios - An EIGHTH day in the parks took the family back to Disney's Hollywood Studios!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 8 - Can't Get Enough Epcot! - Epcot is a favorite park, so it only seemed fitting to go back by way of the International Gateway.
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 8 - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - Joanna's 2nd visit to MVMCP and her family's first. If you've never been, this is the post for you!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 8 - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade - The MVMCP Parade is something else! The floats are wonderful, and the music gets stuck in your head easily, and you don't care to get it out anytime soon!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 8 - Closing Down MVMCP - The best way to do MVMCP and get your money's worth is to stay until it's over. See what this looks and feels like in this post!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Day 8 - Empty Dumbo Queue? - Something we never thought we'd see: an empty Dumbo queue! See the new queue and play area sans people!
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Is MVMCP Worth the Price? - If you're deciding whether or not to attend an MVMCP, take a look at this post.
Thanksgiving at Disney: A Trip Report - Is the PhotoPass CD Worth the Price? - The final post of this series help you decide whether or not you might want to buy a PhotoPass CD before you head to Walt Disney World.

December 2011
Adult's only trip with Joanna and her friend Kyle

Pre-Trip Report - PTR's are a great way to get ideas for planning your own Walt Disney World Vacation!
Two Months from Today - Joanna & Kyle announce their 2nd WDW Vacation!
Wanna go to Walt Disney World... Again? - How did these two crazy kids decide to go to WDW again after leaving it only 6 months ago?
Tie Dye Cheesecake Makes All the Difference - Really, when planning what resort to stay at, it kinda does.
This Trip is Going to be Legen... wait for it... - December offers numerous special event opportunities.  Find out which ones we decided to plan for our trip.
I Can't Wait to EAT!!! - In June I didn't get to eat much, find out how our  food conversation went this time.
Where Do You REALLY Want To Eat? - Food conversation: Take 2, where we decide to change up our dining reservations.
Snacks To Try - Doesn't everyone drool over WDW snacks before they head out on their next trip?  We sure do!  See what Kyle and I are eager to try.
DIY Disney Craft Project and Giveaway - While counting down the days until WDW, sometimes a craft project helps pass the time.  Check out what craft project I completed with WDW napkins!
And the Winner Is... - Alas, the giveaway is over, but it's never to late to congratulate the winner!
My Disney Bag of Tricks - Time to start packing for Disney World! What do I always make sure to take with me?
Choose Our Adventure (Again)! - Kyle and I decided that we would head to Epcot first on this trip. We let our readers pick which attraction we'd ride first (like we did in June 2011).
Follow Our Adventure! - Love reading about Kyle's and my adventures at Walt Disney World? This post details how you can follow along with us for future fun! 

Trip Report - Have you always wanted to go to all of the Christmas events at Walt Disney World but never got the chance?  Join us as we do it all!
Day 1 - Do You Think Those Rocks are for Fantasmic? - Join us as we go to Epcot on our first day back at Walt Disney World! Tons of videos in this post!
Day 1 Dining - Let's Just Walk Over There! - Thinking about dining at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue? We loved it!
Day 2 - Tea Parties are More Fun When No One Stabs You! - Magic Kingdom brought on bird attacks and violent stabbings!
Day 2 Dining & Events - Wait for It! - Find out more about Japan's Teppan Edo in Japan, join us at the Candlelight Processional narrated by Neil Patrick Harris, and take a trip to Downtown Disney for some Vinylmation trading!
Day 3 Dining - You're Like a Bratz Doll, but You're a Sexy Platypus! - A day at Animal Kingdom brings us some rainy fun on the Safari, a cupcake you have to see to believe, a meal at the Yak & Yeti, and the Jingle Jungle Parade.
Day 3 Events - Why is it so Difficult to Get to Naboo? - Our third day ends with a couple of Christmas spectaculars: the Osborne Lights in Hollywood Studios and IllumiNations (with the holiday tag) at Epcot.
Day 4 Dining - They Bring it in a Pineapple? - A morning at Hollywood Studios (complete with hilarious ride pics) and a scrumptious lunch at Kona Cafe.
Day 4 Events - You Can Never Have Too Much Glitter! - One post completely dedicated to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (the MVMCP): includes lots of photos, details, and a video!
Day 5 - Oh d-d-d-d-dear!! - Our last at at WDW included breakfast at Wilderness Lodge, a video of Beverly-tasting in Epcot, lots of beauty shots of Spaceship Earth, and Kyle and I butchering a song on video!

After I finished writing the trip report, I realized all of the attractions that Kyle and I somehow missed on this trip.  I reflected on them in Things I Missed But Actually Didn't.

Like out last trip, Kyle and I did a lot of vlogging! Here's a playlist of all of our videos from our December trip.

We were also interviewed for Episode 399 of the Be Our Guest Podcast when we returned from our trip. Hear our interview (and silly antics) here.

June 2011
Adult's only trip with Joanna and her friend Kyle

Pre-Trip Report - A must read for anyone planning a trip!
Wanna Go To Walt Disney World? - Learn how two people from different sides of the United States decided to meet for the first time at Disney!
Moving Up in the World - Find out if we got a good Disney Pin Code and how we decided to go stay at a moderate resort instead of a value one.
Hop on the Monorail! - Park days are something I recommend everyone figure out before they make meal reservations.
Food Glorious Food - Read about our plans for our sit-down (table service) meals.
I Could Overdose on Cupcakes! - This post, about what snacks I was eager to try, was featured on the Disney Food Blog!
Choose Our Adventure! - Kyle and I allowed my readers to choose what attraction we rode as soon as we made it to Magic Kingdom on our first day in the parks.
What Are You Looking Forward To? - Every day Kyle and I started our mornings on Twitter by naming one thing we were looking forward to on our upcoming trip. See what made the top of my list!

Trip Report
Day 1 - Hey Look! A Duck! - Join us as we travel to WDW and go to Magic Kingdom.
Day 2 - Don't Upset Cousin Cooper! - Enjoy Star Wars Weekend with us!
Day 3 - Let's Make a Video! - Finally we visited our favorite park, Epcot!
Day 4 - The Only Good Dinosaur is a Dead Dinosaur! - Will Joanna chicken out or will she ride Dinosaur after all?
Day 5 - The Whole Country?? - Visit Magic Kingdom and Epcot with the dynamic duo!
Day 6 - The Answer to *Your* Questions - Have fun with us at Hollywood Studios and Epcot and mourn with us as we sadly leave our happy place.
Epilogue8 Things That I Didn't Expect that happened during our trip - If you're planning a trip, don't miss this post.  It's got quite a lot in it about how to make the best of it when things don't go as planned.  

Also included in this trip report were two guest posts by Kyle sharing his take on the meals we shared:

Making its debut in this trip report was a series of vlog posts.  I compiled all the videos in one playlist on YouTube that can be seen below.

November 2010
Family trip with Joanna and her family (sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew)

Day 0Can I Just Be There Now?
Day 1
I Want to go oo Disney World!
Day 2Only Those With Good Attitudes Make It in the Photos
Day 3Look! The Fountain of Nations is Going Off *Again*!!
Day 4Hey Look! It's Steamboat Willy!
Day 5Remember When I Cried Through This?
Day 6It's *Just* a Dinosaur!
Day 7Wait! This is a Roller Coaster?!
Day 8May I Go Home Now? (and How We Beat the Crowds)

Epilogue: When Are You Going Back?
Sum Up: Things I've Never Done at Walt Disney World (Still)