LMM's Fall Break Double Birthday Celebration


I’m back!!!

From a great fall break at Walt Disney World! It was a wonderful time to go, as we got to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party for the first time, Food & Wine Festival, and were there for the soft opening of New Fantasyland!

Cast includes the typical Mom, Dad, and Rachel, as well as my boyfriend, Max, and Rachel’s hall mate, Addie.

I managed to convince my dad that we should rent DVC points and stay in a 2-bedroom villa for this vacation. He was hesitant, and we bounced back and forth between getting a family suite at Art of Animation or two rooms at a moderate resort… but I found a good deal, and we went with DVC Rental!

I rented points from Bill at DVC Magic Point Rentals for $10/point (a great deal which really helped me convince Dad… we normally spend around $400-500/night to stay at a Deluxe resort, and for about the same price, we could stay in a 2-bedroom villa… no-brainer, right? :laugh:). I had inquired with a few other renters on MouseOwners.com, but they all said it wasn’t possible - it was too late to book (this was in early September), nothing was available. Not Bill - he was determined to get us a villa! At first, he booked us three separate reservations - three nights at SSR and one night at OKW with a request to move to SSR. Within a week the SSR request went through, and he was able to link our four separate reservations together into one. This guy knew what he was doing!


I can’t wait to read more about your trip.


The plan was for everyone to spend Thursday night at our house, then to leave from there bright and early in the morning.

Well, I had the bright idea to paint Max a cooler for his 21st Birthday (it’s a big thing in the south to paint coolers… girls paint coolers for guys who are taking them on their fraternity function like Mountain Weekend or Beach Weekend and fill the cooler with alcohol for the event since the guy is paying for them to go… or girls paint coolers for guys they care enough about to slave away painting a very personal cooler for). I had been working on it for about a week, but I had a lot left to do Thursday. So my departure time was pushed back because I was painting this surprise birthday present cooler for Max.

I was very pleased with how it turned out.

The top is Death Valley, Clemson’s football stadium:

DSC_2521 by vshingl, on Flickr

Cinderella’s Castle, since we went to Disney for his birthday:

DSC_2520 by vshingl, on Flickr

This is the Beats by Dre logo. He loves the headphones and his beatbox.

DSC_2519 by vshingl, on Flickr

He also loves Ralph Lauren.

DSC_2517 by vshingl, on Flickr

And then Buzz Lightyear because he loves Toy Story, and he was Buzz for MNSSHP.

DSC_2513 by vshingl, on Flickr


Well, I get to Max’s apartment to deliver his early birthday present and take him to my house… but I entered to find that these party animals had decided to go ahead and start celebrating Fall Break… IMG_2158 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I didn’t have enough room in my car for the three of them and luggage. By the time I got Rachel and Addie back to their dorm and Max in the car to the house, it was 3:00 AM!!!

I left Max sleeping in the car all night :blush: and went in to help my mom finalize our MNSSHP costumes, pack, and sleep for a couple of hours.

Mom had to pick up Rachel and Addie that morning. Finally, we were ready to go!

He wasn’t too happy to wake up in the car…

IMG_2164 by vshingl, on Flickr

We slept most of the way there.

IMG_2167 by vshingl, on Flickr


Did you freehand all the paintings? That is really cool!!


We arrived at Walt Disney World at about 3:00.

IMG_2168 by vshingl, on Flickr

When arriving at SSR, we were really surprised that there wasn’t any bell service (or at least not the CMs that went to your car and opened your doors and started removing your luggage before you even got out of the car yourself)… but then realized it was probably because parking was so close to our building.

I went with Dad to check in.

DSC_2522 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2527 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2526 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2529 by vshingl, on Flickr

We tried to get our MNSSHP tickets, but there was a glitch in the system - they were printing adults as children and children as adults. So we had to wait until we got to MK to have them printed… not nearly as convenient.


I freehanded Death Valley and the clouds and castle, but I used a shade and transfer method for Buzz Lightyear and the logos so I’d get them right. You just print it out on the computer, shade the back of the paper with pencil, then put the pencil marking side of your paper on the cooler and use a ballpoint pen to trace the lines you want to keep… when you remove the paper, you’ll have pencil lines on the cooler over where you marked with the ballpoint pen.


I asked for a room in the Paddock, the Springs, or Congress Park. We ended up with a room on the edge of the Paddock closest to Congress Park. It was a quick walk to the Congress Park bus stop and close to Downtown Disney, but not so convenient to the Paddock pool.

Our room in the Paddock had just received the soft goods refurbishment. We actually may have been the first people to stay in the newly refurbished room because they were renovating the floor beneath us during our stay (and because of this, I know that they replaced all of the mattresses).

I had read some concerns about the soft good refurb because of the implementation of Disney characters and blue walls… but I absolutely LOVED it. I’m really glad they switched out the hideous green couch for a neutral tan one. The character additions were very tasteful. And the blue walls in the master were actually nothing like I had seen in pictures - they’re very bright and inviting and go well with the bright bedspread.

Sadly, this is the only picture I got of the second bedroom while the beds were made -

DSC_2533 by vshingl, on Flickr

Loved the table -

DSC_2536 by vshingl, on Flickr

New TV… not sure if this was with soft goods refurb or before, but almost every photo I’d seen of SSR villas had old televisions in it.

DSC_2537 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2538 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2539 by vshingl, on Flickr

Our view -

DSC_2540 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2541 by vshingl, on Flickr

Would’ve been a lake view, except it was obscured by the tree -

DSC_2542 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2543 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2545 by vshingl, on Flickr

LOVE the master bedroom -

DSC_2547 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2548 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2549 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2550 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2551 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2552 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2556 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2558 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2559 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2560 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2567 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2566 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2564 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2563 by vshingl, on Flickr

I’m really glad that we got a dedicated 2-bedroom instead of a lock-off because the double vanity was PERFECT for our girls’ room! It was also nice to have two queens instead of a queen and a sofa bed. It was so spacious! Rachel said, “This room alone is the size of our normal room!”

The only thing slightly weird about the arrangement was that Max shared a bathroom with my parents. That would’ve been completely awkward if they hadn’t known eachother forever. However, the split bathroom made it easy so that Max could be showering or getting ready in one side of the bathroom while my parents were in the other side.


We had planned to get to MK at 4:00 for MNSSHP, but after our later than expected arrival and difficulty getting Max to wear the Buzz Lightyear costume (he was getting nervous… didn’t believe me that almost everyone, including adults, was going to be in costume).

We went as Buzz Lightyear and the three little aliens. We ended up with two photopasses, and unfortunately, my dad still has the one with our MNSSHP pictures on it. So you’ll just have to bear with his awful photos (I don’t understand why this man can’t work my camera) of us all together for now, and I’ll add the Photopass Photos later.

Addie was very into the alien costume and helped get Rachel excited about it (Rachel and Max were both talking about how stupid they looked in the costumes). She did this Twitter “alien update” thing.

This is alien riding a bus…

DSC_2571 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2574 by vshingl, on Flickr

Dad had to wait in a super long line to get our tickets since the couldn’t print them at our resort.

DSC_2576 by vshingl, on Flickr

We got in the park around 6:00. It’s a good thing we didn’t try to go at 4:00 because it was so hot!!!

DSC_2578 by vshingl, on Flickr

Our costumes were very popular, and we had a lot of people ask to take pictures of us or with us, even before we had entered the park. I had read online that as long as you weren’t trying to represent be a Disney character and offering to sign autographs or pose for pictures, you could take photos with guests if they asked. Well, in Tomorrowland, by the Buzz Lightyear attraction, a family asked to take a photo with us, and we agreed, and Max was approached by a CM and told he wasn’t allowed to take photos with guests.

Great! Max had finally warmed up to the Buzz Lightyear costume, and he was scolded by a CM! He was then super worried about it - “What do I do? I’m going to look like a jerk if I say no!” Sure enough, after the CM left, we were almost immediately approached by a family who didn’t speak much English, wanting to take a photo with us… and we had to say no and look like jerks.

We finally decided that as long as we weren’t in Tomorrowland, it should be okay to take a quick photo with someone if they asked. But after it got dark and the party actually started, we had less people approaching us for photos.

DSC_2580 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2581 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2582 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2584 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2586 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2587 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2590 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2593 by vshingl, on Flickr

We couldn’t get this little kid to leave so we could take a picture… he was just playing on it. His father was going to take his picture, but then realized we were first, so he moved to the back of the picture line… but left his son up there! What the heck?

DSC_2598 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2603 by vshingl, on Flickr


I can’t wait to read more, your trip reports are my favorite :wub:

I love the costumes, where did you find alien ones like that or how did you make them?


[QUOTE=bieberlove;1123703]I can’t wait to read more, your trip reports are my favorite :wub:

I love the costumes, where did you find alien ones like that or how did you make them?[/QUOTE]

I bought the heads online. They’re made by a company called Disguise and sold from various halloween costume stores. The jumpsuits are sweatshirts tucked into sweatpants. I made the Pizza Planet Logo on the computer and printed it as an iron-on transfer. My mother made the shoe covers, belts, and 3-fingered gloves.


Those costumes are just adorable! You all look terrific. Too bad about the picture-taking.

So glad to see the refurbs at SSR. Last time we were there our room was in desperate need of an update. I love the new carpeting too!

Cooler painting?:huh: …I’ll never understand Americans.:laugh: But you did a very nice job!


Cooler painting?:huh: …I’ll never understand Americans.:laugh: But you did a very nice job![/QUOTE]

Yeah, it’s a really weird thing to do. Americans are all about “crafting.” I was saying the other day - do you ever wonder who the first overachiever was to paint a cooler and make it a requirement for everyone else? :laugh:


MNSSHP is a new event for us, and it’s something that I researched thoroughly to make sure that we took advantage of everything that was offered - special characters, photo ops, etc. Well, I realized that rushing everyone around the park wasn’t going to be any fun. Waiting an hour and a half before the party started to meet the 7 dwarves wasn’t going to be a good use of time. So when we got into the park, I discarded all plans that I had and let everyone come up with their own. I’m really glad that I did this.

After we rode Buzz Lightyear, it was about 7:00, so we headed to the first candy stop.

DSC_2604 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2606 by vshingl, on Flickr

The candy trail was great - we got a lot of candy. We did notice that Rachel, Addie, and I got more candy than Mom, Max, and Dad. Maybe it was because we were girls in funny costumes.

After the candy trail, we realized that Space Mountain was just a 10 minute wait - let’s do it! It turned out to be no wait - we walked right on!

DSC_2609 by vshingl, on Flickr


You are so creative, Victoria. Some of the projects you do amaze me. Most of the crafty projects I do don’t turn out the way I envision them in my head.

Loving your TR! Can’t wait to see more!


We headed towards Fantasyland and got in line to meet Winnie the Pooh and gang.

DSC_2613 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2617 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2620 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2624 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2625 by vshingl, on Flickr

DSC_2626 by vshingl, on Flickr

We then did a few candy trails on the way to get dinner at Pecos Bill.

I go the taco salad. It was delish. The Halloween cups were cute.

DSC_2627 by vshingl, on Flickr


Love that picture of the aliens on Space Mountain. Hilarious! :happy:


Cooler painting?:huh: …I’ll never understand Americans.:laugh: But you did a very nice job![/QUOTE]

I have never heard of it either, probably because I am not at all into football or tailgating.

We use our coolers for camping, and the LAST thing I want to worry about is not knocking the cooler around in order to preserve my artwork!


Loving all the pics, Victoria! The costumes turned out SO good!!


…never heard of painting coolers either…and my “roots” are in the south…and have lots of friends and relatives in the deep south…new to me…but it looks cute!