Geekin’ On WDW 035: Travel Agent Tony McDaniel Reviews His Magical Birthday Trip To Walt Disney World

On episode 35, we chat with travel agent Tony McDaniel who had a magical birthday trip.
Intro inspired on my drive home listening to Easton Corbin A Thing For You
Intro for Tony McDaniel a travel agent with Fairy Tail Journey’s
Orange Bird giveaway – Drawing over the Thanksgiving Holiday
Pooh to Tigger Weight Loss Challenge
  MyFitnessPal or LoseIt app
Sara Chapman appears to be having a great time and posting a ton of pictures on Facebook
Epcot Flower And Garden announced
Mickey Mouses Birthday – Fifteen Fun Facts

SYNOPSIS: We had a party of 6: Me, my wife Carrie, 11YO daughter Hannah, 8YO son Jackson, my dad Bill & my mom Barbara. Rented a big SUV & drove from KY to WDW & were on property 10/17-10/23/2014. Stayed the first 2 nights at Art of Animation in a Nemo Family Suite and the next 4 at Coronado Springs in a booked Junior Suite (upgraded to Exec Suite as I mentioned in my message). It was our first time at either resort. Size of group didn’t leave us many options which is what led us to our decisions. Celebrating my 43rd birthday while there. Wife & I are AP Holders & use the TiW discount card for meals when applicable. I have pics of most, if not all ** notations as well if you want to add them in anywhere on the website. Feel free to ask me anything about my history with Disney, etc..

Here’s a day by day breakdown:

FRI 10/17: Check in at AoA mid-afternoon. Checked in & walked the resort. We requested Nemo due to the proximity of the building to the main building. Walked resort for an hour or so & then drove over to Ft. Wilderness Campground for dinner at Trail’s End buffet. Buses/parking at the campground suck. Period. After dinner, my parents took the kids back to the resort to swim & Carrie & I took the bus to EPCOT for Extra Magic Hours.

**Unbeknownst to me, my wife & parents had worked behind the scenes to have Disney Floral bring a birthday gift to the room while we were at EPCOT. My gift was an embroidered drawstring backpack, a leather binder with embossed Disney logo on the front with a personalized HB message from Mickey & a balloon.

SAT 10/18: Breakfast: Landscape of Flavors–AoA, Lunch: Fulton’s Crab House–Downtown Disney, Dinner: San Angel Inn: EPCOT

Wife & mom slept in and later went to Downtown Disney. Dad & I took kids to EPCOT for a few hours before meeting them for lunch. Shop at DD for a few hours & then to EPCOT for dinner. Split a bottle fo wine at Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, then Illuminations in preferred seating. I didn’t see much of it because of two trips to the Scotland F&W kiosk for the Seared Sea Scallop with spinach-cheddar gratin & bacon for Carrie & Hannah.

SUN 10/19: Breakfast: Landscape–AoA, Lunch: Be Our Guest (FastPass)–MK, Dinner: Ohana–Poly

Moved from AoA to Coronado that morning (room not ready–payoff came later that night) & then off to MK for a few hours. Ferry to Poly for dinner at Ohana with my cousin & her family, and then to MNSSHP for the first time. Wife got to meet Lotso from Toy Story 3. Made her happy! Loved the pre-show of Hallowishes possibly more than Hallowishes itself.

**Disney Magic: Room upgrade from Junior Suite to an Executive Suite. Amazing room!

MON 10/20: Breakfast: Pepper Market–CSR, Lunch: Via Napoli–EPCOT, Dinner: Cape May–Beach Club

First time at Via Napoli. Loved their pizza. Enjoyed several beers from the best country at F&W: Craft Beer in the Odyssey building. Pepper Mkt sucked.

**Disney Magic: Dinner at Cape May. Castmember (server) Tammy saw my birthday button & brought me an awesome cupcake AND a birthday card signed by Goofy, Donald & Mickey. Big tip for her for making my dinner that much better! Spoke to her manager & let him know of her amazing service. This should be done as often as possible–it’s the only way these front-line employees get recognized for great service!!

TUE 10/21: Breakfast: Cafe Rix–CSR, Lunch–Starring Rolls Cafe, Dinner: SciFi Dine In Theater

Mom was wiped out from EPCOT from night before. Dad stayed with her & they met us at DHS later in the day. Carrie & I took the kids to DHS for the day. Mom & dad’s first time watching Fantasmic. They loved it!

 

**Disney Magic: DHS closed at 7:00pm with Fantasmic at 7:30. Finished dinner at SciFi around 6:30, I left & went to ride Tower of Terror solo. It showed 45 minute wait in standby. I asked Castmember Joe how accurate that time was & he said it was probably closer to 35 minutes. Pressing to get to Fantasmic to meet family. He saw my birthday button & wished me a HB. He asked how many were in my party, told him 6, but I was solo. He said, “Since it’s your birthday,” and handed me 2 paper FP: one for a solo ride on anything at DHS except Toy Story Mania, then a FP for 5 with same stipulations. Used the solo on ToT, walked to Aerosmith & grabbed a family of 4 out of standby to help use the FP for 5. Amazing Castmember

**Disney Magic #2: When we got back to the room, Magda, from Mousekeeping, had set the kids stuffed animals up in bed with Clifford holding the TV remote while they were all “watching” Duffy’s Bedtime Story on one of the resort channels. The kids LOVED it! Just constantly going above & beyond.

WED 10/22: Breakfast: Cafe Rix–CSR, Lunch: Tortuga Tavern–MK, Dinner: 1900 Park Fare–Grand Floridian

Busy day trying to squeeze in as much as we could. First time visiting either places for lunch & dinner. At 1900 Park Fare, Lady Tremaine told Jackson that he woule be marrying one of her daughters that night & he was trying to hide from her, Drizella & Anastasia after that! When Cinderella came around, he started blushing & wouldn’t get his pic with her. She blew him a kiss & he blushed even deeper & turned away!

**Disney Magic: Magda struck again! This time, she left a “Towel Birthday Cake” in our room.

THU 10/23: Breakfast: Pizzafari–DAK, Lunch: I’ll have to ask Carrie!

Checkout & then a commando trip through Animal Kingdom in less than 3 hours for FP at Kilamanjaro Safari, It’s Tough To Be a Bug & Festival of The Lion King. Then sadness. had to leave on Thursday early to get home in time for football game Friday night.

 

Tony McDaniel

tmcdaniel@twc.com

tonymcdaniel@fairytalejourneys.com

Twitter: @FTJTony

Facebook: facebook.com/FTJTony

Links:

Fifteen Fun Facts For Mickey Mouse’s Birthday blog post

Epcot Flower & Garden 2015 announced

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