Our Walt Disney World Trips Throughout the Years

By DD - Last updated: Saturday, September 2, 2017

Tinker Bell is leading the way to help us tell the tale of our wonderful trips to the magical world of Disney!

With fall just a few weeks away and the days getting shorter, I can feel the Walt Disney World nostalgia creeping in. Mama D and I are already talking about planning our next Orlando vacation but we have to pace ourselves and try to focus on our upcoming trip in a couple of weeks. 2018 WDW Resort deals won’t be out until at least October so instead of focusing on future Disney trips, why not this time focus on past trips? How many times have we been to Disney? It’s hard to keep count so I will summarize it for us all on this page. We’ve never been to Disneyland, only to Orlando’s parks but even though Disneyland was the original one, Orlando is so close and convenient, and having 4 parks with so many onsite resort choices, it’s an unbeatable Disney destination.

Our First Visit To Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

DD in 1987 in front of the Thunderbird Motel in Treasure Island near Tampa, Florida.

 

Our first time to WDW was in 1987. I was 16 and Epcot had just opened 3 years before. My best friend Annie lent me a suitcase full of summer clothes, including accessories. She was such a good friend, I miss her. I don’t remember much of that trip except little tiny bits. Mama D and I had a rental car and we stayed a few days in Treasure Island, near St Petersburg and a few days in Orlando. We visited Epcot one day and Magic Kingdom the next. One of my favorite attractions at the time was Space Mountains that I rode 2-3 times in a row, and The Carousel of Progress. There was no FastPass system then and we must have missed many rides because we didn’t want to wait. I vaguely remember 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but I remember being impressed by the restaurant reservation system on the big screens called WorldKey Information System. This was the most advanced technology of the time. I’m glad they finally announced lots of much needed new projects for EPCOT.

 

 

 

 

In 2009, after 22 years since my first visit, Dami got the crazy idea to send me to Walt Disney World for his birthday! I don’t think he meant to be alone on his birthday (he’s got such a big heart!), it’s just that it was a super quiet week at my job at the time and it was the perfect time to take a trip but unfortunately Dami’s job required him to stay. It was a little surreal as we usually plan our trips many months in advance and this was a trip that was happening in a couple of days. He booked my flight and hotel for 4 nights for 3 days visit. He drove me to Burlington, Vermont and I flew to Orlando with a transfer in Washington, DC. I arrived late in the evening by taxi at the Residence Inn Lake Buena Vista. 3 day tickets with Park Hopper was $279.03 usd. ($1 can=0.815769) Today the same would costs 371.69 usd ($1cad=0.793159). The full details are here, here and here.

Third Visit Staying for First Time at Port Orlean Riverside with mama D

DD in our favorite section of the Columbia Harbour House at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in 2011.

My 3rd visit was with Mama D this time, from January 16th to 22nd 2011. We were meeting at our gate in Toronto and poor Mama D’s flight was late but she made it 10 minutes before our departure. We stayed at Port Orlean Riverside in the Magnolia building, room 8927. We used the luggage service with the Magical Express although our suitcases arrived late. On subsequent trips we took our suitcases ourselves for quicker access. Our meals were so large at The Riverside restaurant that we had lots of leftovers to bring back to the room. Everyday we had breakfast in the room with fruits, cereals, milk and juice. We brought lots of snacks from home including oatmeal and cup a soups. I had a portable cup heater for our coffees and teas which was so convenient to have in the mornings and evenings. It was then that we found our now favorite spot to have our packed lunch at the Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom; there is usually a table for two waiting for us on the second floor facing The Haunted Mansion.

4th trip with second stay at Port Orlean Riverside

Tamu Tamu restaurant at Animal Kingdom is a quiet place away form the park madness.

My 4th trip was in 2013, with Mama D again, from January 13th to 18th. It was a last minute trip that we booked 4 days in advance and we were so excited! We stayed at Port Orlean Riverside again, in room 8253 in the Acadian House building . We pretty much did the same for our meals as the last trip, buying stuff for our breakfast at the Riverside Mill with a quick meal in the parks. On the 16th, the weather was nice enough for a swim! We had lunch for the second time at Seasons in the Land Pavillion at Epcot. The details of the trip are here.

A Dream Come True For You And Me

One Man’s Dream is an an amazing Museum about Walt Disney at Hollywood Studios, WDW Orlando.

My 5th trip, again with Mama D was from January 12th to 19th 2014. This time, I flew with a transfer in Montreal where Mama D met me at our gate. This was a much better option.  We stayed in a studio (5061) at Boardwalk with a view of the Spaceship Earth ball and had food delivered at the resort by Garden Grocer. We had an amazing time once again! You can read the details here.

20 days of WDW Magic in February 2015

My 6th and 7th trips to WDW were in February 2015 when I rented a condo in Kissimmee for the whole month. Dami spent the first two weeks with me and then he flew back home on the same flight Mama D embarked on to come join me for the second half of the month. This time an annual pass was without question the best option for me. While Dami was with me, we had a rental car that made it convenient to load up on bottled water and non perishables. With Mama D we took the Lynx bus on the corner that brought us to Magic Kingdom. I must have spent at least 12 days at Disney. With both Mama D and Dami I toured the resorts. I brought Dami to Port Orlean Riverside taking the boat taxi from Disney Springs. It was so much fun to be with Dami for his first Disney experience. You can read more about Dami’s impressions of Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and one of his favorite ride here

My 8th trip with Mama D

Mama D is ready to try to beat my score throwing darts, loops and plates!

Mama D was the slow bunny :))

 

My 8th trip was with Mama D from January 9th to 18th 2016, staying at Floridays in Lake Buena Vista. Staying outside of the World was not the same. We did have a super nice condo but I seem to only remember the condo, the shuttle ride and not WDW.

Our last trip to WDW

What a great time we had with the Memory Maker! We waited in line many times but it was so much worth it, like for this picture with Chip and dale at Magic Kingdom.

My 9th trip and last visit was with Mama D from December 6th to 15th 2016. We split our vacation between WDW and Universal which we visited for the first time. It was our first time visiting Walt Disney World during Holiday season with all the decorations and music. At Disney we stayed at Boardwalk in a One Bedroom Suite, having our grocery delivered from Garden Grocer. It was so far the best trip to Disney and combining it with Universal made it exceptional.

My next trip with Mama D will be my 10th visit!

Mama D and I at Epcot in December 2016

The next trip will be my 10th time! I just can’t wait! It should be pretty awesome as well as we plan to stay on site again and go with the Deluxe Dining Plan at Disney. The Universal Dining Plan is not as interesting so we’ll skip it. We should be using Garden Grocer again, although only at the end of our stay to bring food with us at Universal. Looking back at the pictures we had with Memory Maker at WDW, having pictures at Universal would be pretty awesome as well. I am so grateful for having such a generous mother: Mama D you are the best mother!

Filed in Uncategorized

6 Nights in Quebec City with Mama D

By DD - Last updated: Friday, June 16, 2017

Mama D had been wanting to visit Quebec City for a long time and we had a great 6 nights staying in a private apartment in Old Quebec. I flew there with a transfer in Montreal and took a short cab ride to our apartment. After dropping my bags I walked to the train station to welcome Mama D and help her with her suitcase. She really enjoyed her business class trip while I got out of both of my flights a little nauseous even with Dramamine; It was very windy and both planes were small. I paid a little extra for the extra leg room and only had my carry-on suitcase with a handbag and a purse. I like to bring my big scarf that I use as a blanket or a pillow. I sometimes tend to bring too much clothes and things I don’t use but not checking a suitcase forced me to bring only essentials. A pair of Jeans, 2 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts, a zippered sweater and a light rain jacket were all I needed. We dressed in layers as the mornings were chilly and afternoon sometimes very warm. Our packable backpacks were very handy to carry our extra layers, lunches, brochures and maps.

Our accommodation was perfect for the two of us. We rented a private apartment in old Quebec, on Saint-Paul Street, just across from the train station. We had everything we needed: each our own bedroom, an L shaped couch to lounge on, a fully equipped kitchen, a big dining table and a nice soaker tub to relax in after walking all day. As usual I cooked all our meals and we packed a lunch everyday. We had our usual favorites of cod stew and no tomato bolognes pasta and it was so comforting! For our first and last nights, we made an exception and got some Hungry Man frozen TV Dinners! It was so convenient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We used Les Tours du Vieux Québec for many activities. The first morning, we took the Hop On Hop Off Double Decker bus getting off at the last stop; it was a great 2.5 hour ride to get our bearings. Then we had lunch at the Citadelle, toured the museum about the 22nd regiment, then went on a guided tour of the Governor General’s House.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our second day, we went on a Country side tour. Our first stop was at Chutes Montmorency where we only had 45 minutes to take the cable car, visit the museum, buy a souvenir and walk to the bridge: almost impossible but we made it! After the Waterfall we crossed the bridge to Île d’Orléans with its beautiful historical houses and outstanding views. We stopped at the Chocolaterie de l’Île for an ice cream and continued our way to the south side of the island where the micro climate is perfect for strawberry fields. After the Island, we stopped at the Musée du cuivre where I bought a souvenir art piece with a moose for our basement. Something that made it especially interesting for me was that the founder of the place, Albert Gilles, who passed away not too long after Walt Disney, actually made some pieces for him and his brother. The piece I bought was not made by him but made using his techniques as his daughters took over the business. On our way to the Basilique Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, we stopped by Chez Marie, a French Bakery, and because locals don’t even shop there they don’t bake a lot of goods. Having worked for many years in an artisan bakery I was disappointed by their variety and by what was left as I was the last one in line. My cinnamon bun was good but tasted just like any other commercial bun. The pièce de résistance was the larger than life Basilique Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré with all the crutches of the “miraculously healed” patrons left on the front pillars. It made me wonder how many people are told by doctors that they will never walk but are so determined to walk that they eventually walk; the mind is a very powerful tool. My favorite part was to see the front doors covered in copper art done by Albert Gilles himself! At the rear right of the building was a tiny building with the inscription: Bénédictions (Blessings). Inside was an old tired looking priest, sitting and waiting for people to come with their money to get his blessings. I’d personally rather bet my money on Zoltar’s fortune granting… what, it worked in the movie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our third day, we visited the Musée de l’Amérique francophone. We then made our way to the Musée Place Royale by the Ramparts with the view of the St Lawrence through blooming mountain ashes and lovely fragrant lilacs. My favorite part was the diorama of the original Samuel de Champlain’s settlement of the Place Royale. All the original buildings burned down but were reconstructed, not unlike Louisbourg. We took a Museum break walking down to the port where we took the Louis Jolliet for an hour and a half boat cruise. Back at the Musée Port Royal, we dressed up for some photos we took of ourselves surrounded by a Tennessee French immersion group of teenagers and their group leader thought I was working there! She said if they needed help they could come see me, that’s what I was there for! She later came to apologize and I thought it was pretty funny. It was something to see them all dressed up, it really felt like we were back in time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our fourth day we took a bus to the Aquarium du Québec. We didn’t know what to expect and were surprised to see most of the exhibits to be outdoors but even the cold and little bit of rain didn’t ruin the day. We just took our time in the indoor exhibits with many breaks and lunch next to a filming production crew that we found later were filming 100% Animal, the Télé-Québec show about animals for teens. We must admit it is one of our favorite French shows. Dami was so excited when I sent him pictures of Silvi with the polar bear! It seems like there is a shooting everywhere we go recently! We do tend to travel during shoulder seasons as we try to avoid crowds and production crews probably do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We spent our last day at the Musée de la civilisation and we could have used 2 days as it is a big place with many exhibits. In Le Temps des Québécois, they had an 1800 rocking chair exactly like the one we took from our Victorian rented house as a departing gift; if ours is a replica, it’s a very good one. They had all kinds of display. There was an interactive exhibit on cats and dogs, one on the brain, and another one on nano technologies. We walked back to our apartment taking the long way, along the marina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mama D and I just started planning a new trip and made all our reservations and bought our tickets! We’re so excited about the next trip, it is going to be awesome! Can’t wait and of course, as usual I will post it here… Have a great summer!

Filed in Uncategorized • Tags: , , ,