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Old 10-15-2018, 10:18 AM   #1
MikeL
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THIRD TIME IS A CHARM?

For those that know me, you may remember that for the past 2 years we have had to cancel at the last minute our Christmas trips WDW. Both were due to major problem with our travel vehicle. Happily our TA was able to handle Disney for us and rebook it for the following year. So as I sit here 60 days out from our departure day I am more than a tad nervous.
This trip will cross a few things off my BUCKET LIST. Not just spending Christmas and New Years at WDW but my Birthday as well. Hopefully at long last I will get to officially turn XX years old.
WHO IS GOING
Our cast of characters hasn't really changed much but for some obvious reasons has changed a bit.
1 Me. Michael a life long Disney Fan. I grew up watching the Mickey Mouse Club and Wonderful World of Disney. The first Movie I was taken to see in a Theater was the Documentary "THE LIVING DESERT" with "BIG RED". I made my first trip to WDW in 1986 staying off property and went back 2 years later after some major life changes to find out why I had enjoyed myself. Based on a recommendation from a relative we stayed in a Ft Wilderness Cabin and that became my preferred resort
2 Lucille. My DW. She is coming around to WDW but was not a HAPPY CAMPER when in 2010 I told her we were going in 2011. Since then she has learned it is NOT JUST MICKEY MOUSE and even has a list of MUST DO Attractions and dining options. Like me she fell in love with the cabins on her first visit and the one time we stayed someplace else she couldn't wait to move to the cabin 5 days later.
3 and 4. Sky and Katie AKA The Girls, The Kids, or The Savage Sisters. These 2 adopted us just over 2 years ago, when we needed to fill the hole in our lives and hearts Maggie's passing left us with. Happily they have calmed down considerably since then and no longer try to eat everything they see.

WHERE TO
We will be somewhere in FT WILDERNESS.
WHEN
While we are leaving on Dec.14 we don't check in to Disney until the 21st. Right now we have a reservation till Jan 28 but may cut this back till the 21st .
TRAVEL PLANS
As we have a New to us MOTOR COACH we and by we I mean ME, will be driving down on the I-95 corridor. With just 1 driver we have learned to take our time. We plan on basic travel range 350 miles a day. This way between stops for Food, Fuel, Potty stops and walks we can still arrive before the sun goes down and I am not doing what we need to be comfortable for the night in the dark
Day One I hope to pull out of the driveway around 8am. This a big hope. The last 2 trips I needed to call and have the old coach Jumped. Granted the 1st time the temps had fallen into the teens that night but the 2nd it was in the mid 70's . We had our battery checked and it is good but I will likely hook up my charger to it the night before just to be safe. Our route has us on the 495 bypass for DC about 90 miles from home so I am hoping rush hour traffic will have subsided by the time I get there. Next choke point is the Richmond to Petersberg Va. corridor. Have to wait and see what traffic looks like and decide then if I want to take the bypass there but it is not my favorite stretch of road and just staying on 95 has been okay for me so far. One way or another I will stop for gas before we leave Va. as it is nearly 50 cents a gallon cheaper than NC. North Carolina is where will stop for the night. Nice little Campground just off 95 at exit 171 call Carolina Crossroads at Roanoke Rapids. We have stayed here in the past and at just over 300 miles from home it is perfect for us. I can get there before 4pm and the Kids love the dog park. In fact the couple that live and work there full time right next to the Dog Park don't remember us but do remember them. Dinner will be simple. Lucille makes a large pan of lasagna before we leave home just take what you want 4 min in micro and dinner is served.
Day Two. Again I hope to be on the road by 8am mostly because today's drive is 400 miles. We will likely stop at the CRACKER BARREL at exit 49 in NC for breakfast. This was our 1st big stop in 2011 and we try to hit every trip since then. We have plans to stop again for gas in SC most likely in St George exit 159 as SC has cheapest gas on the trip. Our destination is CAMP LAKE JASPER outside of Hardeesville SC exit 8. This place was a great find for us. Two years ago when we failed to show after the emergency we encountered they called us to make sure we were okay and the only info they had on us was my name and phone number. The Girls really love the dog park here. In the mornings the neighbors on the other side of the fence have chickens that invade. Both Sky and Katie had a ball chasing them off. Wookiebear sat there with me watching them. As there are no large cities on this leg coupled with higher speed limits arriving by our target of 4pm has not been a problem to date. For dinner we will finish off the lasagna
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:28 AM   #2
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Sounds like great plans. Sending loads of that the 3rd time is, indeed, the charm and you get to celebrate all your special days at Disney. I'd love to hear more about The Girls. What kind of love bugs are they?
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:46 AM   #3
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for your trip to happen!!! I love that you're able to take such a long vacation in Disney and also take your fur babies with you!
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:01 PM   #4
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Awesome start. Keep it coming!
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:55 PM   #5
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I am so glad that it looks like the third time will be the charm.

I would love to spend my birthday in Disney, but, December 30th would be too much of a mad house for me. So, I am considering doing my next big one on a Disney Cruise instead. What day is your birthday?

Can't wait to read all about your trip.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pris View Post
Sounds like great plans. Sending loads of that the 3rd time is, indeed, the charm and you get to celebrate all your special days at Disney. I'd love to hear more about The Girls. What kind of love bugs are they?
I am praying that nothing gets in our way this year. Coach is fully serviced and had a survey of all systems done so everything looks good for now. Next month we will take out of the driveway one last time to have winterized then back home till we leave. See PM I sent you for where you can see pics of the Girls

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for your trip to happen!!! I love that you're able to take such a long vacation in Disney and also take your fur babies with you!
On of the bennies to being retired and having our own hotel suite with us.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grammy Grumpy View Post
Awesome start. Keep it coming!
Trust me there is more coming. Have I ever lied to you before?

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Originally Posted by manticorjenn View Post
I am so glad that it looks like the third time will be the charm.

I would love to spend my birthday in Disney, but, December 30th would be too much of a mad house for me. So, I am considering doing my next big one on a Disney Cruise instead. What day is your birthday?

Can't wait to read all about your trip.
Manticorjenn everything is right on track for now just working to keep it that way.
Spending my Birthday at WDW has been a dream of mine since 88 when I first stayed on property. Before that actually my best friend in grammer school moved to LA during our first year in High School and we had same birthday. He called that evening to brag how they had spent the day at DISNEYLAND , things just kind of grew from there. As for my Birthday it is the 24th so I can honestly say I am one day older than Jesus
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:00 PM   #8
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Oh can't wait to hear all about it! I love your trip reports. I've been away from PP for a while so I didn't know about the two aborted trips!
Here's hoping the title comes through!
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:22 PM   #9
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Here’s hoping the magic gets you that dream trip, Mike.

Take it from me (going for my third birthday trip!), there is no thrill quite as good as a Disney birthday.

Lucky you to be able to combine all the holiday season goodies with your birthday. You are going to have The Most Magical Time EVER!

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Old 10-15-2018, 05:26 PM   #10
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Hoping this time you get to go on your dream trip! Looking forward to reading all about your plans.

Quote:
Happily they have calmed down considerably since then and no longer try to eat everything they see.
Glad to read there is hope at the end of the tunnel. My dog is currently in the eat everything, chew through everything phase. He just turned 1. I cannot wait until this passes.
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Oh can't wait to hear all about it! I love your trip reports. I've been away from PP for a while so I didn't know about the two aborted trips!
Here's hoping the title comes through!
Oh it was d fun 2 years ago made our first stop to find out our power transfer switch had burned out. We only had generator for power. Every one we spoke to before deciding to cancel said it was a 3 hour job to do easy peezy we'll see you in 3 weeks when we reopen. Last year picked it up from shop after having oil change done and on the way home had an accident that tore up the drivers side and took off half the real cap 3 days before we were leaving. This year that maintenance has been done all gassed up already and winterizing is slated for next month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Her Dotness View Post
Here’s hoping the magic gets you that dream trip, Mike.

Take it from me (going for my third birthday trip!), there is no thrill quite as good as a Disney birthday.

Lucky you to be able to combine all the holiday season goodies with your birthday. You are going to have The Most Magical Time EVER!

Having a Christmas Birthday kinda helps with this one. Plans for day will be revealed soon enough.

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Originally Posted by MayraLR View Post
Hoping this time you get to go on your dream trip! Looking forward to reading all about your plans.


Glad to read there is hope at the end of the tunnel. My dog is currently in the eat everything, chew through everything phase. He just turned 1. I cannot wait until this passes.
Mayra hope things for you have settled down after Maria. Hope your pup settles down soon but from experience puppyhood will go on till age 2. These two settled down after we came home from a concert and found brown fur all over the living room and kitchen. I was afraid they tore WookieBear apart ( Same color and she was hiding) They did not like me telling them how bad they were and ignoring them for a week. Now only things a outside are fair game if my shoes get wet or muddy they need to go in the garage till they dry out But no more throw pillows.
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My Countdown Counting down to: HEATHENS IN THE FORT
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:57 PM   #12
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Day three travel day . Today we will be on the road by 8 am. With Lazy Days Resort outside of Tampa as our destination. Having a hard time making up our minds on which route to take. I-4 in Orlando as others have mentioned is undergoing major construction and NOT large vehicle friendly at this time. Last year when we went to get our coach we took I-10 to 75 down to 4. Construction outside of Gainesville complicated it . Best part of that trip was on I-10 going through the national forest Lucille saw a bear. Option 2 is to take 4 but get off at 417 and take that down past Orlando till just about exit for Epcot Drive on 4 then another 45 min to Lazy Days. Option 3 is to stay on 95 down to 528 and then take that to 4 and onto LD. Leaning towards option 3 as friend who suggested it has a trailer that is close to 15 feet high and he claims no problems. We'll likely decide on the way down. Dinner tonight will be super easy They have a CRACKER BARREL adjacent to the sales center next door.
After I initially booked our stay LD we got notified of a new recall on the coach. Nothing serious just bracing for the tow hitch whole job takes about an hour to do but with the unit in a bay we need to keep the Girls with us. That means the drivers training course we are taking had to be booked for another day. So we added a day here and lucked out and got Monday for recall issue and Tuesday for driver training . for both of us. If we need it we may hop down to the local Walmart sometime between Mon and Thur other wise we will enjoy the resorts amenities or attend some of the seminars they offer. One of the great things they offer is coupons for free breakfast and lunch selections at their cafeteria. Nothing Fancy but enough to hit the spot. On Monday Once back in our site we will likely do a better set up and break out the grill for some simple dinners. The Exit 10 Cafe and Cracker Barrel are still options but we likely won't decide till we get there.
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Bay lake 9/11/11
IN MEMORY OF FRIENDS
mpl
My Countdown Counting down to: HEATHENS IN THE FORT
Lets Get Back and Do It Again
My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsFt. Wilderness Oct 88/90/91/95/96/Sep2011 AKL Nov 2013 Ft Wilderness Nov/Dec 2013
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:36 AM   #13
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ARRIVAL DAY
After 4 days at Lazy Days we will head up I-4 and to FORT WILDERNESS. We wont need fuel as I have every intent on filling up after having the recall work at the Pilot Flying J just outside the gate to the service center as we return to our site in the resort. We are hoping during our stay in the resort to be in the 200 teen area for convenience to one of the dog parks. This is important as Sky believes it is a capitol offense to go while on a leash. So we will spend some extra time in the dog park before we leave.
As LD is only an hour from WDW when I did my online check in I indicated we would arrive at 1030 am. We are planning on spending time in the overflow lot at the outpost. Depending on the weather we may do a quick run over to Guest relations at MK to pick up our AP's and TIW card and head back to the Girls and the coach. Since this is weather dependent (Lucille is afraid to leave them with out climate control measures in place despite the idea if we need it the fireplace , electric and fridge will not drain the batteries in 2 hours) we have some alternative plans, Best case scenario is to arrive be assigned a site on arrival. Great. Park in our site do a basic set up and pick up our stuff at Guest relations window and come back. Better yet is to park in our site do our set up and then meet UBER driver at the outpost to go off property to get our golf cart from the vendor we use, take it back to the Fort park it near the reception outpost return the truck and have the UBER driver drop us at Disney Springs get our stuff at guest relations kiosk there and bus back to the Outpost.
Considering how hectic this day will be we are making this a FORT day. Holiday and Camping Decorations will go up, The Girls will be taken for a long exploration of the FORT and in General just hang out. Dinner will be at Trails End something of a tradition for us. Somehow no matter when we get there Trails End has been our First ON PROPERTY meal every trip with 1 exception and that would be in 2012 when we stayed at AKL and got a walk up table at BOMA , Not quiet TE but a close second.
After Lucille and I have eaten most likely we go back and pick up the Kids to go looping and check out how others have decorated their sites. If I can bring them we may even head for Clementines Beach for The Electric Water Pageant have to see they are allowed to go down there. If not just looping will be fine and we'll make it an early night.
Day 2.
This has been tough to try and plan for. It being a Saturday I fully anticipate the parks to be at max capacity. However we have another dining tradition that MUST be adhered to. Our first PARK meal is Tony's. Lucille loves this place and lets me know it. So dinner will be here I made our reservation in hopes that either ELP or Spectromagic will be performed an we can catch it while waiting for our table. We are hoping to score FP's for Jingle Cruise, POC and HM have to wait and see
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IN MEMORY OF FRIENDS
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My Countdown Counting down to: HEATHENS IN THE FORT
Lets Get Back and Do It Again
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My Previous TripsFt. Wilderness Oct 88/90/91/95/96/Sep2011 AKL Nov 2013 Ft Wilderness Nov/Dec 2013
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Old 10-16-2018, 11:37 AM   #14
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Great plans! Will you be decorating your campsite?
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My Countdown Counting down to: Our Anniversary at Disney
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Old 10-17-2018, 01:31 AM   #15
chezp
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I really hope this year your plans work out and you make it!
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Relaxing on board the Magic. The trip report for our back-to-back cruises on the Disney Magic has started!
My Countdown Counting down to: 2019
Happy New Year!
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My Previous Trips21 trips to WDW, 6 to Disneyland in California, 9 to Disneyland Paris, 1 to Hong Kong Disneyland, 1 to Tokyo Disney, 1 to Aulani, 1 to Hilton Head, 2 to Vero Beach and 13 Disney cruises on the Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy
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