Fox Family surprise vacation – the memories and the meltdowns


Well we are back from a great vacation. As with every vacation, it wasn’t completely perfect, but pretty great none the less.

Me: Nicole
DH: John
DD: Delaney – 8
DD: Channing – 5

We had decided the trip would be a surprise for the girls. We had not intended to go back until the Fantasyland expansion was complete in 2013. This is what we told the girls, but I could not help it. I needed to go back. We had a 6:15 flight out of Pittsburgh. We picked the girls up early from school at 2:30. We had made a sign showing us with an airplane picture with an arrow pointing to Cinderella Castle. It said “The Fox Family is going to Walt Disney World”. It was in the back of the suv so that when they would open the hatch to put their backpacks in they would see it. On the way to the car, they were asking why we were picking them up early. We just passed the questions off and waited for them to open the hatch. The reaction was not what we had hoped. They were skeptical and thought we were playing a trick on them. Channing was crying on the ride because she thought we were tricking them. It was halfway to the airport before they were finally on board and believed that we were going. Our flight was delayed about a 45 minutes, but other than that it was smooth through security and the flight.

We arrived in Orlando and we were able to walk right on Magical Express and we arrived at WL about 10:00pm. We checked in with no problem. I did online check-in and all was good. I had shipped down a stroller and a box of snacks and stuff and they were waiting for us. I had paid for a courtyard view and requested to be overlooking the main pool. I was pleased to find they upgraded us to a bunk bed room. That could not have been better considering no one wanted to sleep with Channing. She is a bed hog and a kicker. It doesn’t matter how big the bed is, she will be right up against you. If you move over, she moves right with you. I was not looking forward to the sleeping arrangements. Delaney had already refused to share a bed with her and I played the Mom seniority card with John and he agreed to share a bed with her. Luckily we did not even have to worry about any of it with the bunk beds.

Since we arrived late and we had early breakfast reservations, the girls and I went to sleep and John was to wait up for our luggage to be delivered. Around midnight or so, John went to sleep since the bags had not arrived. He got up around 5:30am and called bell services to get the bags brought up.

We had been watching the weather and it was calling for rain. It was raining when we arrived, but we had no idea how much rain was yet to come.

Due to the rain, I only got a few pics on Friday and Saturday.

The girls on Magical Express:


Day 1:

We had early reservations for Crystal Palace at 8:05am. We were up and out by 7:00am. It was good we got up when we did because the trip over took 45 minutes??? We went out for a boat. The boat to MK had already left but the Contemporary bus was sitting there waiting for a passenger. We figured we had plenty of time so we would just take the boat to the Contemporary and hop the monorail over to MK. Easier said than done. The monorail was stopped in the Contemporary for 25 minutes before we could leave. Than It stopped mid-trip to the MK. This was a theme throughout the trip. The monorail was stopping unexpectedly and delayed all through the trip. We were told they are having wiring problems.

We finally got to CP and we were soaked even with raincoats. We looked like drowned rats. I have never seen this much rain. We were at WDW through Hurricane Floyd and it didn’t rain this long. It was a very cold, heavy rain. It rained consistently from Friday night through Sunday morning. Sunday afternoon it began to have periods of clearing. I am not sure how much rain we got, but the local news was saying the area got 6-12 inches of rain.

We had a good breakfast and decided to just go through the rain until we couldn’t take it anymore. We were able to get a lot of rides in before we left around 1 pm. We did Mickey’s Philharmagic, Winnie the Pooh, Carousel of Progress, Laugh Floor, People Mover, and Space Mountain. By this point we were completely soaked though. We caught the bus back to WL. The boats were closed due to high winds. We had a 4:05 reservation for Cinderella’s Royal Table. I had everyone lay down and warm up. I took our clothes and shoes down to the dryers.

I had planned for us all to get dressed up for this dinner, but with the rain this was not possible. It was just too cold and wet for nice dresses and shoes. I dried everything out and we got ready and headed out to dinner. Before we left the hotel, we stopped in the gift shop to buy ponchos to go over our raincoats. We needed an extra layer to keep drier longer.

We had a really nice dinner. John and I both had the stuffed chicken I really liked it. John was more on the fence about it. After dinner, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean and saw the Enchanted Tiki Room. We tried to ride Big Thunder Mountain but we got stuck on the first hill of the ride and we had to get off and walk out. We decided to call it a night early. We were soaked and freezing. Back at the lodge, John and the girls went on a hidden Mickey hunt while I made another trip to the dryers to dry everything out for the next morning.

A few water logged pictures from Day 1:


Well, in spite of the rain, those pictures still look great. :happy:

Getting off runaway railroad in the rain and walking off sounds scary. Was it? :ohmy:


Great start! Sorry you were there in the rain. Your girls are cuties!


Glad you had a great time despite the rain. The girls look soooooo happy! We had one of those trips this past March, where it rained and rained and rained. I now bring some Lands End water shoes with me (thank you Wishy for the tip) to eliminate having to dry the regular gym shoes over and over again.


This is such an exciting TR! I love that you surprised your girls. My DH would really like for us to not tell them until the day that we leave, but I am afraid that the reaction might not be so great. This makes me want to rethink that plan.

Can’t wait to hear more!


Great start to your TR! You are troopers to forge on despite that much rain. Your girls are adorable and I can’t wait to read more.


Love the TR and the photos you all look great so say you’d be rained upon! Looking forward to more


Loving your trip report!! Its helping me through my “no Disney trip on the horizon” rut!!


Wow, I remember when you were in the planning stages of this trip! I can’t believe you’re already back from it! We’re you there during Columbus Day weekend??? It rained like CRAZY!


Great report so far. Thanks for sharing!


Thank you all for the kind remarks. We were there October 7-15th. I cannot believe its over already, but we decided to buy into DVC so I guess I can justify going back more often now:wink:


Getting off runaway railroad in the rain and walking off sounds scary. Was it? :ohmy:[/QUOTE]

Not really. I just had to keep Channing’s hand tight because to was afraid she’s slip and fall down in the space where the track is. The path along the ride was very narrow.


Day 2:

We woke up early but it was still raining so we decided not to rush out but stick in the room for a while and hope it started to clear up. The news was reporting that the system was still churning off the coast, but that the jet stream may pull it up the coastline and the area may see some periods of dry weather. We were hoping and praying it would let up some. I even heard John and the girls out on the balcony praying to God that the weather would lift. It was so sweet.

As we watched out of the balcony we began watching this duck as he seemed to be looking for someplace out of the rain. Very cute. As we were watching we noticed the pool was actually overflowing with all the rain.

We decided to just brave the rain and head to Epcot. On the way over the rain began to lighten up. We decided to get in line for Spaceship Earth. While we were in line the rain stopped. An answer to our prayers. The rest of the day when great. There were isolated showers throughout the day but every time it rained we were inside an attraction. We were able to hit Soarin, Mission Space, Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Test Track with very little waiting. There seemed to be a lot of people in the parks, but the lines were very manageable with very short waits. This luckily was the case most of the week. Channing was excited to ride Mission Space. She had not been tall enough before. She was the Commander. We told her that made her to boss, which she was not happy about. She did not want to be in charge because she didn’t know how to fly. It was so cute. We assured her she would be fine and just to follow what she was told. She loved it.

Our only issue with crowds or lines was the overabundance of Brazilian tour groups. Arrgghhhh! There were so many, mainly in MK and HS. One cast member said it was some sort of Brazilian holiday. I don’t know but apparently they do not teach manners in Brazil. One actually climbed on top of our 8 year old to get into the cart on Big Thunder Mountain as we were trying to get off of the ride. They would show a card a little bigger than a standard index card and 30 of them would get to go in the fastpass line. It was crazy. They really screwed up some of the fastpass lines to where the standby line was faster. Anyway back to the TR.

We made our way to over to Biergarten for our dinner reservations. We were seated quickly and we were seated with a nice family from Ontario. I was not impressed with the food, nor was the rest of the family. It just wasn’t for us. Service was very good though and I really enjoyed the performers. John quick drinking about a year and a half ago and he found that seeing all the beer/alcohol around and the smell of it to be too tempting to make the atmosphere enjoyable. We will not be going back. We wandered around a little more and we decided to head back to the room for early night. We had a long day planned for Monday and I wanted to get the girls to bed early.

I only took a few pictures this day.


I hope the rain lightened up after the first couple of days! We also had to walk off BTMRR from the first hill last time we were there. It’s such a narrow passageway. Very cool to see it with all the lights on, though.


Day 3:

I had a long day planned with AK for the day and then extra magic hours in the evening at HS. So we were out early in time to make it to AK for opening. We had a plan that the girls and I would go to Kilimanjaro Safari while John ran to get EE fastpasses and he would meet us back for the safari ride. He look off and the girls and I leisurely walked. We waited a few minutes at the entrance to KS but John was not back so we went ahead and got in line. I worked out great because we were getting close to boarding and John came running up to us. The cast member at the entrance sent him through the fastpass line so her catch up with us. The ride was enjoyable as always. The only disappointment was the lions were sleeping. Last year we saw the male lion up on his back legs scratching a tree. I was hoping for another spectacular lion moment. Afterwards we did the Africa and Asia walks and then made our way over to EE. On the way we saw the tree woman. Sorry, I am not sure what she is called. She was very cool to watch. This was Channing’s first time and she was a bit nervous, but she did enjoy it. After we pulled another EE fastpass and headed over to Dinoland. We were on our way to Dinosaur, but were detoured on the way with Pluto and Goofy. Pluto is Delaney’s absolute favorite. We are on a perpetual Pluto watch at all times. She cannot get enough. He licked her on her first trip when she was 18 months and she has been obsessed with him ever since. After hamming it up with Pluto for a fit we made our way to Dinosaur and then back to Triceratops Spin for Channing. While we were waiting in line to ride TS John ran back to get one more fastpass for EE so we could ride twice in a row. After TS we went did It’s Tough To Be a Bug and got a fastpass for Festival of the Lion King. We saw the bug show and proceeded right over to Lion King. We got good seats and the girls were mesmerized. They tried to get Delaney and Channing to both go out at the end to march around the venue, but Delaney would not do it. She is my reserved one and it is hard for us to get her out of her shell. She is always afraid of looking silly. We have tried to explain that it is okay to let loose and be silly sometimes. Anyway Channing went out and Delaney was pouting because she was left out. She wants to but she won’t let herself go.

After Lion King, we went back and rode EE two more times and then made our way back to WL for our dining reservations at Whispering Canyon.

We had a good dinner, and enjoyed the antics. We were the first to ask for ketchup even though none of needed or wanted ketchup. Delaney then told the waitress that we were celebrating our anniversary and we were married right there in the lodge. The waitress then announced it and made us dance. This is so far out of my comfort zone. Delaney gets her reserved manner from me, but I figured I needed to show her it was okay to act silly, so I danced. John was shocked that I did it and expressed how proud he was of me to do it.

We went up and changed and got ready to go to HS for EMH. This is always my must do. HS is my favorite and I just love it at night. Especially the Streets of America. We only did Muppet Vision 3D and Star Tours. We usually use night EMH here to wander around and take in the atmosphere. I got some pics on the Streets of America, just before Delaney decide to use Channing as a speed bump and run her over because as she put it she’s too slow and was in her way. I cleaned up scraped knees, hands and nose and tried to get some pictures. We heard some music and followed it to find Mulch, Sweat and Shears. We came in mid-show and really enjoyed it. The girls wanted to come back for the next show so we hung out for the next show. They were so much fun. They pulled Channing into the show first and it was so funny. If I can figure out how to upload it to YouTube I will put a link. Then a little later they pulled Delaney in to play air guitar with them. I was so happy to see her go out of her comfort zone. It nearly brought me to tears. After the show, we wandered a bit more and headed out a little before midnight.


Pic1 His Highness Pluto
Pic2 Delaney Rockin’ with a Mulch Sweat & Shears guitar
Pic3 Just before Delaney ran Channing over
Pic4 My attempt to get them to do Abbey Road
Pic5 Streets of America crime scene. We just need the chalk outline.


One more picture


I LOVE the HS pics!

The lady in AK you are referring to is DeVine.

Thank you for sharing I cant wait for the rest!



Loving this report!! hate to hear about all of the rain, but looks like you had a great time (so far)!

I am really hoping to see devine (the tree lady)!!