Grateful, Thankful, Blessed: our 25th Anniversary SeaWorld Celebration (Spring ’18 TR)

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
It started hitting the Charlotte area this afternoon. They could get 6-12 inches of rain which is nuts. There were some winds 60+ that were closer than I would like and am hoping as the storm moves west it loses some of that. For my house it's the wind I'm concerned about, though that much rain can cause issues. I'm not worried about flooding. I haven't seen much from friends on fb but I think they're all smart enough for the most part to stay safe and hopefully they are all away from anything that floods. A friend that owns a condo on the beach got lucky, her side is all fine but the other half that's attached wasn't. Not sure what that'll mean over all but at least her side is all intact with the 4-8 units it has.
Even 12 inches of rain, all in one storm, is mind-blowing.

Joining in alot late.
I love your photokey shot of you holding the shamu so cute.
With the dance party I wouldn't care if it was for kids I'd totally join in but probably at the side :rotfl2:

Good to note not to wear Green to seaworld for the green screens!

Is Empire of the Penguin a fast ride? That was not there when we were in Orlando last?
:welcome: aboard! Better late than never ;). The chatter usually goes on for quite a while after my report concludes so there's still lots of time to join in!

Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin has two different options. One is the "mild" side, one is the "wild" side. On the wild side, the ride vehicles spin quite sharply at times. On the mild side, the movement of the ride vehicles is much more smooth and without the herky-jerky spinning. We have done both, and find the mild side more enjoyable just because the spinning doesn't really add to the experience at all.

I should be at SeaWorld both days. As for my actual scheduled shifts, that's up for debate.
Awesome! :goodvibes Maybe we can treat you to a Shamu sundae on your lunch break!

Yeah- I think the regular drinks will be fine, too. I decided to book one of the new daybeds for our day! They look nice! It says they hold 2 adults so we'll see if it's worth it. It was $79. I felt a little guilty on the price, but I figured with the steal of a deal we got, why not?
Ooooh, fun!! I can't wait to hear what you think of them! I hope they are super comfy and nice & spacious! They are certainly a much better priced option than their cabanas ::yes::.
 

petals

Irish Princess because Cinderella said so!
Joined
May 18, 2010
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin has two different options. One is the "mild" side, one is the "wild" side. On the wild side, the ride vehicles spin quite sharply at times. On the mild side, the movement of the ride vehicles is much more smooth and without the herky-jerky spinning. We have done both, and find the mild side more enjoyable just because the spinning doesn't really add to the experience at all.
Cool we aren’t thrill ride fans so if we try it we’ll definitely be going with the mild side
 

Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Saturday, May 12th: "the end"

Having been so tired after our day of water play at Discovery Cove and an evening of packing up, we were in bed early the night before and managed a very restful sleep before our alarm woke us early on Saturday morning. Since we mostly just needed to shower, dress and load up the rental vehicle with our luggage, we had enough time to stop for breakfast at Chick-fil-a after checking out of the Vistana.



Chick-fil-a is a southern indulgence for us: the only one we have near our home is in the Detroit Wayne International Airport, but in the opposite terminal from the one we fly out of.....so we never have a chance to eat there. We had expected to grab something quick at one of the airport quick service restaurants, but this was a MUCH more palatable option ::yes::.



Most of the tables had little vases of fresh flowers......such a nice touch! :)



We had pretty much the entire restaurant to ourselves at that early hour. Being the only customers to be served meant we were served quickly, giving us lots of time to enjoy our breakfast before heading in the direction of the airport.



It was chicken sandwiches, hash browns (which were SO hot, crispy and delish :thumbsup2) and milks all around.

I had a chicken biscuit, plain (perfect in its simplicity ;)):



...while Steve had some sort of chicken-egg-cheese-bagel sandwich. It was quite sizable!



After finishing up our morning meal, we piled back into the rental and headed off to MCO. The drive was uneventful and drop off of the Dodge Journey to the Alamo return center was seamless as always. We took our luggage and headed inside the terminal to bag check and security.



Lines were long at security, but that seems to be a bit of the norm these days at the Orlando airport. One must arrive with a decent amount of time before their flight and just be patient....unless you have Pre-check, there's precious little else you can do. Eventually, we made our way through and took the tram to our gate in Terminal A, found a couple of chairs near a wall outlet, and charged our phones while we waited for boarding.



I popped over to Starbucks and grabbed us a couple of beverages before boarding began. It would be a while before we would be eating lunch (we'd be back in Michigan by then!) so we rationalized one last vacation splurge. Calories still didn't count until we were back on northern soil ;).



The flight home was peaceful and uneventful. We mostly snoozed and rested: our busy week of vacation fun + early morning + customary dose of Gravol (to ward of airsickness) was the trifecta of sleep inducers. Not even the caffeine in the Starbucks Frappuccinos could keep us awake :faint:.

Back on the ground, we were met by our driver from Motor City Transportation and after a rather lengthy wait for luggage (not sure what was the delay? :confused:), we were comfortably seated in the back of our town car and on our way home. We were welcomed by a chorus of loud purrs and wet kitty kisses as soon as we were inside the door :goodvibes.

Don't cry because its over. Smile because it happened.

Time to start planning the next trip! :teeth:
 
  • Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    The financial summary:



    Flights - roundtrip incl. baggage, stretch seating & insurance - $644.83
    Sheraton Vistana Resort - 8 night stay, 2 bedroom villa - $ 965.66
    Rental Car- standard SUV with Alamo incl. fuel - $269.54
    Motor City Transportation - roundtrip airport service - $165.52
    Pet Nanny - care for Violet & Dash - $350.00
    Dining and Tips - $694.00
    Cabana Rental at Aquatica - $85.31
    SeaWorld & Aquatica Annual Passes & Discovery Cove Admission - $591.75
    SeaWorld Annual Photokey - $161.99
    SeaWorld All Day Dining - one day, two people (prepaid) - $67.08
    SeaWorld Dolphin Interaction - $0.00 (thank you @chiamarie !)
    Epcot Single Day Admission - $0.00 (another thank you @chiamarie :hug::hug:)
    Parking at EPCOT - $20.00
    Uber charges to/from Discovery Cove, with gratuity - $22.28

    Grand total: $3393.13

    $188.51 per person [8 nights, 9 days]
     

    pepperandchips

    [melinda]
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2014
    The financial summary:



    Flights - roundtrip incl. baggage, stretch seating & insurance - $644.83
    Sheraton Vistana Resort - 8 night stay, 2 bedroom villa - $ 965.66
    Rental Car- standard SUV with Alamo incl. fuel - $269.54
    Motor City Transportation - roundtrip airport service - $165.52
    Pet Nanny - care for Violet & Dash - $350.00
    Dining and Tips - $694.00
    Cabana Rental at Aquatica - $85.31
    SeaWorld & Aquatica Annual Passes & Discovery Cove Admission - $591.75
    SeaWorld Annual Photokey - $161.99
    SeaWorld All Day Dining - one day, two people (prepaid) - $67.08
    SeaWorld Dolphin Interaction - $0.00 (thank you @chiamarie !)
    Epcot Single Day Admission - $0.00 (another thank you @chiamarie :hug::hug:)
    Parking at EPCOT - $20.00
    Uber charges to/from Discovery Cove, with gratuity - $22.28

    Grand total: $3393.13

    $188.51 per person [8 nights, 9 days]
    First, I snorted when I saw your "finances guy" photo :rotfl:

    Second, wow what a great deal! I can't believe all the savings you and Steve enjoy when in Orlando. Your food budget alone puts me to so much shame :headache: we end up averaging around $100 per person per day!!! We have a budget trip coming up so I'll need to take a note out of your book for some savings.

    As a southerner you are right about Chick-Fil-A. The little things like the flowers set them apart. And those chicken biscuits need no gilding, they are perfect as-is, as you know!!!

    Thanks again as always for bringing us along on your fabulous vacation:flower3: it was another awesome Bo-Bina trip. And, again, happy anniversary. It's so heartwarming to see the love between you and Steve. Many many happy years ahead, I'm sure!
     

    pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
  • I-4Bound

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2011
    Another fabulous trip report! I enjoyed every moment. We won't be back in Orlando until at least next summer, so I'll be living vicariously through your fall trip as well!
     

    AntimonyER

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 4, 2016
    Thanks for all of this. My wife would be very jealous of your choices for your travel day, chickfila biscuit and frappuccino are her FAVS! Little tip for your next visit, if you want a variation of their menu items (for example, the chicken egg and cheese on a biscuit instead of bagel... MY favorite) they will do it no problem.
     

    Mrs Doubtfire

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2006
    Another brilliant report that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I'm glad your plans are coming together for the next trip :thumbsup2

    The financial breakdown is always interesting to see how things compare :goodvibes although if I don't put mine down all together then I can't really have spent it all, right??

    Hope you're having a good week and I'll keep a lookout for any future trip reports.
     

    Joanna71985

    <marquee><font color=green>Characters are my frien
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2005
    So sad the TR is done, but looking forward to the next one!

    And I love Chik-Fil-A! So good
     
  • Ruthie5671

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2009
    Calories still didn't count until we were back on northern soil ;)
    Ummm, calories don't count until you're unpacked, clothes are washed and put away! That will buy you at least another day or two!

    $188.51 per person [8 nights, 9 days]
    Dang girl, that's some great budgeting.

    Not sure if this will work, but this link is supposed to let you view the photo book that I made of the trip. Someone give it a try and let me know :).

    https://www.picaboo.com/share/?share=fb6911c743dcb820d55f7f4160a2e294&version=856105&utm_source=trg&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=shareproj
    Love, love, love the book.
     

    DontRushMe

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2010
    I'm really thinking I should just pay you to do our Grand Canyon vacation photo album. ;) I just get so frustrated and give up, I haven't done it and it has been over a year. But it is one that I know I would look at often if I ever completed it.
     

    dalmatian7

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 27, 2008
    Yeah- I think the regular drinks will be fine, too. I decided to book one of the new daybeds for our day! They look nice! It says they hold 2 adults so we'll see if it's worth it. It was $79. I felt a little guilty on the price, but I figured with the steal of a deal we got, why not?
    We got one too! I am glad I picked that instead of the drink package.
    Love the book Gina!
    We are under 40 days crazy!
     

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 12, 2008
    First, I snorted when I saw your "finances guy" photo :rotfl:

    Second, wow what a great deal! I can't believe all the savings you and Steve enjoy when in Orlando. Your food budget alone puts me to so much shame :headache: we end up averaging around $100 per person per day!!! We have a budget trip coming up so I'll need to take a note out of your book for some savings.

    As a southerner you are right about Chick-Fil-A. The little things like the flowers set them apart. And those chicken biscuits need no gilding, they are perfect as-is, as you know!!!

    Thanks again as always for bringing us along on your fabulous vacation:flower3: it was another awesome Bo-Bina trip. And, again, happy anniversary. It's so heartwarming to see the love between you and Steve. Many many happy years ahead, I'm sure!
    You are so sweet :goodvibes. Thank you so much for all the kind compliments, and the anniversary wishes as well. So hard to believe its been a quarter century already......savor all those newlywed moments, my friend, because all of a sudden, you'll find yourself old like me!! :crazy2: (and wondering how the blazes that happened so fast :rotfl:)

    I can't understand why Chick-Fil-A hasn't caught on here in Michigan (ditto to Friendly's.......and Sweet Tomatoes!). Of course, it might be a blessing in disguise ... 'cause I'm sure I'd be there WAY too often if we had one even somewhat close by :o.

    The link worked! What a beautiful photo book! :) I would love to make one of these! ::yes::

    Good job on the vacation budget!! :thumbsup2

    Only a few short weeks until your fall trip!:cool1:
    If you have never done a photo book with Picaboo before, I can get you a freebie for your first project. Let me know if you're interested and we can chat :goodvibes. I have also done photo books through Costco and Shutterfly, but Picaboo is my favorite for ease of use, background choices, and finished product. PLUS.....there is ALWAYS a Groupon or other discount available to bring your final price way down to something manageable. My book for our May trip would have been $155 full price through Picaboo, but I paid $35 with a Groupon.

    Another fabulous trip report! I enjoyed every moment. We won't be back in Orlando until at least next summer, so I'll be living vicariously through your fall trip as well!
    What??? No trips for a whole year?? Say it isn't so! :sad:

    How did you guys fare with Hurricane Florence? Did I read on your Facebook page that your town mostly escaped her wrath?

    Thanks for all of this. My wife would be very jealous of your choices for your travel day, chickfila biscuit and frappuccino are her FAVS! Little tip for your next visit, if you want a variation of their menu items (for example, the chicken egg and cheese on a biscuit instead of bagel... MY favorite) they will do it no problem.
    Your wife has great taste :teeth:.

    I could easily become hooked on those silky smooth Frappuccinos (as easily as I could become hooked on those chicken biscuits!!).

    Another brilliant report that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I'm glad your plans are coming together for the next trip :thumbsup2

    The financial breakdown is always interesting to see how things compare :goodvibes although if I don't put mine down all together then I can't really have spent it all, right??

    Hope you're having a good week and I'll keep a lookout for any future trip reports.
    I have done one of those financial summaries for every single vacation we've taken to Orlando. I print a copy (and make it all pretty with stickers and other embellishments :flower3:) and put it on the inside cover of the photo book for the trip along with some of the mementos I save along the way.....our boarding passes, park tickets, wristbands, etc. It's fun to look back at the early cost summaries (from 2009 onward) and see how costs have changed. Especially for flights and car rentals!!

    So sad the TR is done, but looking forward to the next one!

    And I love Chik-Fil-A! So good
    Hopefully we'll get a chance to say hello in October, and you'll be featured in the next trip report! :thumbsup2

    Ummm, calories don't count until you're unpacked, clothes are washed and put away! That will buy you at least another day or two!

    Dang girl, that's some great budgeting.

    Love, love, love the book.
    I wasn't horrified by the final total this time, especially when it included our annual passes for SW & AQ. Sometimes I'm like WHOA! :eek: :scared1: :crazy2: We always seem to hover somewhere in the $3500 range.

    Do you do anything special with all your awesome trip pictures? Do you have a Disney "wall of fame" at your house that you just keep adding to with each trip? (if you don't, you TOTALLY SHOULD!!!! Your photos always make me smile!!)

    I'm really thinking I should just pay you to do our Grand Canyon vacation photo album. ;) I just get so frustrated and give up, I haven't done it and it has been over a year. But it is one that I know I would look at often if I ever completed it.
    Heck, girl, you don't have to pay me!! We just need to set up a few Friday coffee dates. I work for Sam's Club chocolate chip cookies :p. You bring snacks, I'll bring drinks, and we'll have a fabulous book of your Grand Canyon memories whipped up in no time :goodvibes.

    We got one too! I am glad I picked that instead of the drink package.
    Love the book Gina!
    We are under 40 days crazy!
    Bring on October! :jumping1: It can't some soon enough for me!!
     

    afan

    Honorary Bus Driver
    Joined
    Dec 30, 2014
    Any movement on your Nexxus apps?

    Going to look at your book now. I still haven't started mine but haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with it all for this year yet.
     

    I-4Bound

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2011
    Thanks for checking on us! We did fine with the hurricane, with no damage at all thankfully. It's a difficult time of the year to live near the coast! I'll be happy when we're well into October, and the threat has going away for another year.
     

    pattyw

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2008
    If you have never done a photo book with Picaboo before, I can get you a freebie for your first project. Let me know if you're interested and we can chat :goodvibes. I have also done photo books through Costco and Shutterfly, but Picaboo is my favorite for ease of use, background choices, and finished product. PLUS.....there is ALWAYS a Groupon or other discount available to bring your final price way down to something manageable. My book for our May trip would have been $155 full price through Picaboo, but I paid $35 with a Groupon.
    No- never have done a photo book before- and would love to!:love: Such a nice momento!!

    Thanks for checking on us! We did fine with the hurricane, with no damage at all thankfully. It's a difficult time of the year to live near the coast! I'll be happy when we're well into October, and the threat has going away for another year.
    That's great news! Hurricanes and the aftermath are very scary!
     

    Ruthie5671

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 19, 2009
    Do you do anything special with all your awesome trip pictures? Do you have a Disney "wall of fame" at your house that you just keep adding to with each trip? (if you don't, you TOTALLY SHOULD!!!! Your photos always make me smile!!)
    I'm old school - I do a real scrapbook. I have an addiction to Hobby Lobby and Michael's and spend way too much money in those stores. Or that's what Tony says. I think if he can drop mega bucks on fishing stuff at Cabela's then I can buy paper, stickers, and sparkly things to make my books!
     

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