Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Trip Report Tuesday - WDW Day 9 Part 1 // My Youngest's 18th Birthday at WDW!

Welcome, friends!  I'm so excited to share the sweet deets of an unforgettable celebratory Disney day!  I've decided to break this day into two parts, so your eyes won't get too tired.  Let's get right to the great start of this magical day!

Day 9 - Monday, October 17, 2022

On this, the most marvelous of Mondays, my sweet "Little One" was officially an adult.  It's still hard to believe she's 18 years old, but every bit as sweet as ever and this day was perfectly her in every way!

We let the Birthday Girl plan the entire day from parks and attractions, to food and fun.  It was her Special Day and we aimed to make all her wishes come true!  

Things got off to a magical start as we walked toward the the dock at Poly to board a boat and there was an empty one right there waiting to whisk us away!

One happy mama with the joyful daughter who completed our family!

The Birthday Girl chose to start with Mickey's PhilharMagic.  

Sporting another accessory in her lifelong favorite color! :)

I must admit my eyes were quite teary watching this show on the day that I officially had two adult children.  Memories of moments from years ago flooded my mind.  I recalled being in that theater with two tiny sweethearts, each donning 3D glasses that transported them into a land of imagination.  I will never forget how much I loved watching their little arms reach out to grab at the gemstones that appears to be mid-air before them while Ariel sang and showcased her 20 thingamabobs.  It's a bittersweet thing watching your children grow up.  While I wish each year lasted at least twice as long, I am thankful that God has blessed us with moments throughout this beautiful life that we can forever hold close to our hearts.   Suddenly I realized that as bittersweet as that moment felt, in years to come this very day would be one that I'd fondly recall and recount memories of!  As we exited the theater I reminisced with Jason and the girls about those gem-grabbing shows of the past, and we continued on making fresh new memories, which I joyfully preserve here and recount to you now!

Next birthday wish, all of us riding Prince Charming Regal Carrousel together!  

This was the first time that Jason ever rode this carousel!  When the kids were small I'd ride with them and he'd video as we waved to daddy.  The girls and I have continued to ride on occasion, but my hubby would always gladly wait just outside.  On this fine morning our fam of four rode side by side, ponies dancing in the sky!

We all named our horses, of course.  (A brief video I took helped me to recall their names.)  From right to left:  My oldest is atop Plum.  Jason's riding The Green Goober.  The Birthday Girl is trotting fancifully with Honeydew, while I enjoyed my time riding with Winifred.  

Lunchtime!  Her pick, a traditional family fave, Comic Ray's Starlight Cafe.  In our early years of Disney-ing we'd come here at least once per trip.  It holds such fun memories for us.  Once we dined here on a Halloween party night as the Big Bad Wolf and Three Little Pigs.  Another trip we assembled our neon costume accessories around these tables.  I'll admit the food itself is simply standard Disney counter service fare, but you can't beat the "out of this world" entertainment.  In years gone by Jason's big draw here was their burger topping bar.  Sadly they stopped putting out that serve yourself style spread of burger perfecting toppers in 2020.  Jason had planned a personal boycott until its return, but when his daughter requested it for a special day he couldn't help but grant her wish.

Another lifelong fave of hers, chicken and fries

Sometimes, even at Disney World, you have to make your own magic.  As you can see in the snapshot above, Sonny Eclipse was not on stage where he belonged.  Jason inquired of Sonny's whereabouts and a cast member informed us that Mr. Eclipse was away on a long intergalactic tour.  Lunch was not going to be the same without his crooning, so my oldest pulled up one of his previous performances on YouTube.  Every bite was more enjoyable as we heard tunes of Space Angels and Planetary Boogieing.

Cake for the Birthday Girl!

The Country Bears came out to wave at our Birthday Girl, naturally!

On to her favorite type of rides, rollercoasters!  Let the thrills begin!  

In keeping with both the thrill ride and train theme, we followed Big Thunder up with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

When my girls have birthdays, whether home or on vacay, they are prepared for this mama to be extra snap happy.  She was a very good sport and indulged my desire to take many photos to remember every beautiful bit of the day!

We'd splurged for Genie+ in hopes of scoring more of the Birthday Girl's ride requests with the minimal amount of time in line.  When it was time to pick the next set of Lightning Lane passes Jason read us the options available to us.  Our Birthday Girl picked a repeat on Big Thunder Mountain.  Since Jason can't handle too many thrill rides back to back these days I suggested that I take her while the other half of our family pick another selection.  They headed to visit the 999 happy haunts of Haunted Mansion while we made a beeline back to that Big Mountain.

My favorite sign in the Big Thunder queue

I love this hidden gem, a painted portrait of Imagineer Tony Baxter.

At this point we reunited as a family to head back to our home sweet vacation home for the week.  A beautiful boat ride later we were back at the Poly and some of us were scheming to surprise our Birthday Beauty!

If you read previous posts covering this trip you may remember that we'd already surprised our Birthday Girl with the gift of money tucked inside a cute card earlier in this trip.  That said, she wasn't expected any more gifts.  She was in for a surprise!  I asked Jason to get her out of the room for a bit and he did a terrific job at the task!  He asked her to join him refilling all our rapid refill mugs and then took his time (aka: stalled) throughout the resort property path back to our room.  

Meanwhile, my oldest and I threw together a surprise party in a flash!  In minutes we flung open a suitcase I had packed with party essentials and hidden gifts.  We strung steamers, birthday banners, and darling decor all throughout our DVC studio.  It was a little tricky as guests aren't allowed to use tape in Disney resort rooms, but we made it work and decked everything from the hall to the floors!  Work with what you got, right?

We got done with a moment to spare and my happy helper sat feeling satisfied with a party prepping job well done.  I'm so thankful for her!  Working with her to get this done was so much fun!


I videoed as she entered, so I didn't get any snapshots of her initial reaction, but I just watched the video and my heart was full seeing her excitement!  As I opened the door and said, "Happy Birthday!  Welcome to your surprise party!", there were many sweet, "Woah!"s followed by exuberant expressions from both the Birthday Girl and her big sister who helped created this memorable moment!

Jason had a good laugh while telling us all about his stalling tactics to give us as much time as possible to put this surprise party together!

Present time!  Right before our trip my mom and sister let me know they had gifts for our girl that they'd like me to sneak along in a suitcase to give her on her birthday.  Between those goodies and a few more from us, the girl who thought she'd already received her birthday gift was surprised with a table full.  

More birthday bucks from my parents

My sister had sweetly put together a personalized gift that included a golden "18" crown, birthday sash, and a gorgeous necklace with her name.  Jason and I gave her a name with a unique spelling, one that she's never found on a rack of personalized jewelry, keychains, or bicycle plates.  This was an extra special gift that made her gasp in delight!  My sister is one of my favorite people on the planet and her thoughtfulness is one of the many reasons I adore her! 

My Kawaii-loving girl adores Sanrio and Pusheen cuteness. When I saw those brands collaborated creating a perfect birthday plush I thought it was a must-have to gift to her on this day and display here during our stay.  

The next mashup also had her name all over it!  Stitch is her childhood favorite and ducks have been her favorite animal since she was a tiny tot.  Dogs may have taken their place in her heart since Toffee joined our family, but she adores them nonetheless.  When I saw that Shop Disney was selling Stitch dressed up as a duck last Easter I scooped him up and saved him to present to her while staying at the Polynesian for her birthday!  Her reaction made my heart smile!

More Stitch cuteness!  He was joined by his girl Angel on the headband she needed while staying here.  I also gifted her a few more headbands and hair bows she'd had her eye on while surfing Etsy in weeks leading up to our trip.

When I spotted a Funko Pop representing America in It's a Small World with the cutest hula girl I knew this was a birthday gift must too!  I thought the combo of a WDW attraction with a little Hawaiian flair would be a sweet piece to help her remember our trip.

That's a wrap on part one of her birthday fun!  I'm looking forward to putting together part two to share with you next.

Thank you for being here today!  I appreciate you taking time from your day to read about our Disney days.  Sharing magical memories with you is such a treat!  Hope to see you back here again next week!


  1. Knowing first hand how well you celebrate even the smallest of occasions, I can only imagine what an incredibly MAGICAL birthday this was for your sweet girl! I LOVE the surprise party! Can't wait to read about more of this special day next time! 💛

  2. What a delightful, magical and memorable birthday! I love that you reminisce over the sweet memories of years gone by while making amazing new memories! So much Joy on that Happy Birthday! Perfect!


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