Welcome to a fresh new installment of my Trip Report Tuesday blog series! I'm so excited to relive the memories and magic of our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, and share the highlights with you all!
Day 1 - Friday, October 16, 2015
The morning had finally arrived! It was Disney Day! My wonderful uncle, aunt, and cousin pulled into our driveway long before dawn to take us to the airport. They, too, are lovers of all things Disney and having them see us off truly added to our joy and excitement! My Aunt Ann presented us with a swell surprise to be enjoyed during our trip! (You'll see more about that on Day 8! ;))
Thanks again for everything, Kenny, Ann, & Emily! I only wish I could've fit you in our luggage and brought you along with us!
...And away we go!
Can you tell how EXCITED we all were? This was a day we'd been counting down to for over a year! It would be a day filled with special firsts, and surprises that some of us didn't even see coming!
We've been snapping this traditional airport photo with Goofy for years now!
Daytona International Speedway Surprise
One thing on the tip top of my parents' wish list for this trip was to visit the ocean. When deciding which beach we'd visit, my thoughtful hubby came up with the best idea! We'd plan to head to Daytona Beach, because then we could surprise my dad with a tour at Daytona International Speedway! This was a very hard secret to keep, but we managed to, and boy was he surprised! This may not have involved Disney, yet the moment felt pretty magical!
Top: my parents, myself, and my girlies, Bottom Left to Right: statue of Dale Earnhardt, who died while competing here during the 2001 Daytona 500 // my two favorite guys
Some snaps from our tour...
Did you know that just after the champagne and confetti fly in celebration of each year's Daytona 500 win, the car is taken from its' driver and kept in the museum here for a year? It was pretty cool seeing the car seemingly frozen in time in that moment of victory!
Daytona 500 trophy and the winning car driven by Joey Logano in the 2015 Daytona 500 race
Of everyone in our group, Jason was the only one of us who'd ever step foot in the ocean! That's right, this was my 9th Disney World vacation, but the first time we'd ever strayed from the magic long enough to take in the beauty of the ocean!
I don't think there are even words to describe this part of the day! It was so calming and beautiful, and seeing the excitement and awe on everyone's faces was overwhelming! We waded while gazing at the beauty of God's creation, relaxed on the beach, searched for seashells, and Little One used the bucket her happy meal lunch came in to create a cute lit'l sandcastle. It was a perfect afternoon at Sun Splash Park...
As we packed up and prepared to head out my dad told me that he'd waited his whole life to see the ocean and now he has. It was beautiful to see a dream come true before we had even made it onto Disney property! I knew this would be a trip we'd remember and cherish for the rest of our days!
Sunset & Shakes
We grabbed some treats and hit the road, ready to return our rental car and hop onto Disney's Magical Express!
Disney's Art of Animation Resort
We checked into our home for the weekend (before our week at Animal Kingdom Lodge.) I'd really looked forward to our time at our favorite value resort, especially because I knew my dad would love the theming of our Cars Family Suite!
artwork in the lobby // sidewalk artwork that a talented cast member had drawn with a wet broom // a late night bite at Art of Animation's Landscape of Flavors food court
Cars Family Suite
Here's a peek at our suite...
The living room area featured a pull out couch. The table shown is actually a murphy bed that folded down for the kiddos to sleep in! As always with Disney the theming was very well done and made for a fun stay!
The master bath and bedroom where my parents dreamt of the fun to come! ;)
Then it was time to try to get some sleep before our first day in the Disney Parks, which also happened to be Little One's 11th birthday! The excitement and anticipation level was at an all time high that night!
Hope you'll be back to hear about Day 2, next Tuesday!
A little sneak peek of the next trip report! Day 2 included an in-suite birthday party for Little One, a celebratory dinner at Chef Mickey's, the birthday girl's favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom, and more!
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