My 50th Birthday Solo Trip Blow-Out (Sept 2-13, 2017)


Aug 2, 2016
Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your trip report!!! Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope you'll write again. :)


Dec 31, 2015
I've read a lot of trip reports and I have to say that yours was one of the most enjoyable I've come across. So many great side tips and observations that were really helpful and welcome.

My husband and I are 40 something Disney adults with no kids who come from an area of Australia which has cyclones, very much like your hurricanes but they spin in the opposite direction! We've been through many many cyclones and they're an eerie experience knowing that they're coming and just waiting. On our WDW trip in 2016 we literally flew into Orlando the morning after Hermione crossed the coast. For our next trip we've opted for a non hurricane time of year - December 2019 and we're super excited to be staying onsite for 3 weeks!!

You've really peaked my interest in POFQ though and I'm going to look into it as an option. We stayed at POR on our last trip and loved being a boat ride from Disney Springs but we never did do the walk between resorts and check out POFQ or get the horse drawn carriage ride I so desperately wanted!!

Oh and your boss sounds like a total JERK!!


Am I there yet?
Jan 11, 2017
Hi folks. I thought I'd update a little here since it's coming up on a year since I left on that trip--it's hard to believe a year has passed already! Some of the biggest changes is that my supervisor back then transferred to another role (I ended up reporting him to HR for his hostile behavior and had the paperwork to demonstrate it, and his rejecting of a PTO request 9 months out), and my team was cut in half so there's just two of us now--one stress was removed but replaced by another. However, my new supervisor is much better and has no problem with approving my reasonable requests for vacations.

I have another WDW trip planned for the last week of November of this year! It came up sooner than I'd anticipated (I've been aiming for another big trip in 2019 or 2020). I've starting a new blog to track that trip. Since so many of you enjoyed my write-ups, you can find the new one here.
  • Goldys4

    Apr 8, 2015
    I really enjoyed your trip report. It definitely sounded like an amazing trip. My husband and I were at WDW Sept 20-23 with the impending storm Maria. It was double stress for us because we boarded the Disney Dream on Sept 23 for a 3 night cruise! I was a little stressed and wasn't sure how Maria would play out, but our amazing travel agent (I'm sorry for you to say MUCH better than yours) was able to calm my fears and we had a great trip. It was rocky coming back as we skirted Maria as it went north, but overall a great night sleep for me. I guess I really like the rocking motion like I was a baby :sail:

    Looking forward to your trip report with your mom!


    Mar 10, 2007
    I loved your report! I read it straight trough!! I will be traveling in May to celebrate my 50.. hope I have as much fun.


    Sep 10, 2014
    Wow - it's March 2019. I have NO idea how I stumbled across your trip report -- as I NEVER read trip reports!! (I've never even gone into the folder where trip reports are!) But somehow I tripped into this trip report and I must say, it's amazing and I was reading each word with baited breath. I'm about to go over to your most recent report now because I need to see how it all ends!!

    PS - I have an AMAZING boss and am so grateful for him because I've worked for YOUR OLD BOSS before and being treated that way is for the birds. So happy you've moved HIM ON!!


    DIS Veteran
    Apr 4, 2000
    Thank you for sharing. We will be going during the same time period this year. Hoping that the opening of Star Wars doesn’t turn it into a super packed trip. Loved all of your pictures, but was hoping for one of a reunion with your cats at the end :)
  • useakiss

    Am I there yet?
    Jan 11, 2017
    Thank you for sharing. We will be going during the same time period this year. Hoping that the opening of Star Wars doesn’t turn it into a super packed trip. Loved all of your pictures, but was hoping for one of a reunion with your cats at the end :)
    Well, I did take this pic shortly after returning home. This is Kodiak and Hailey. Missing from the pic is Clara. Sadly, I lost Hailey this past January.


    Jan 14, 2013
    Very much enjoyed your trip report. Wow your boss sounds insensitive. Hope you go back soon. We are going in Nov so you gave a few tips I did t know abt. Thank you
  • CoffeeKitten

    May 17, 2019
    Wow! I loved your trip report. I have a trip coming up where I'll be staying at POFQ. It was so interesting hearing your take on the resort. And it was riveting hearing how you rode out the hurricane. I've always wondered how that sort of emergency is handled at Disney.

    On a side note, after another incident at work regarding my request for future PTO, I submitted an HR complaint about that boss--his text about the hurricane was entered in as evidence. Within the month he transferred to a different position (coincidence?). Wishes do come true! :smickey:
    My jaw literally dropped open when I read about your ex-boss. Thank goodness you were able to go on your Disney trip and he was later transferred.

    My DH once worked for a startup company where his boss literally made us cancel a planned (previously approved) trip to see our family. He ended up working there for three years with zero vacation days taken. At his exit interview his boss apologized for that canceled trip. I think the boss finally realized that lack of time off really does affect a person's well-being. (And it made it real easy for DH to quit that job for one that cares for its employees.)


    Jan 31, 2007
    Extremely late to the party here, but I just found this report recently. I really enjoyed this trip report. I was in WDW with my daughter for the exact same dates I think, and this just brought me back. I was super impressed as well with how Disney handled things during Irma.


    Apr 8, 2016
    I just found and read your trip report. Thanks for writing it - it was wonderful! So glad that you got a trip in 2018 and your 2020 reunion trip sounds amazing!! It goes to show that what you put out into the world comes back in spades. In June 2018 we also did a split stay at AKL and BC - (me, my mom, my then 4 and 7 year old, my brother, his 15 and 18 year old, and my 16 yo niece) - it was amazing. We loved the convenience of BC to Epcot (but it was a loooong hot walk to HS and the boats were not running at that time because of bridge construction) but overall we much preferred AKL. In August/Sept of 2020 we are returning to the world and will do another split stay with AKL and Boardwalk. The good thing now is that you can walk to the EP back gate and take the skyliner to HS - that is what we plan to do. I am sure you will have a blast.


    DLR Vet, WDW Novice
    Apr 9, 2020
    I know I'm very late in the game to read your report, but just wanted to say I really enjoyed the detail! I notice you have another trip soon. I hope it's less eventful but just as exciting ☀


    Aug 27, 2013
    Pre-trip and Friday, September 1st

    With the encouragement from several people both here and on Facebook, I've decided to document my recent trip. I've been thinking about the best way to capture everything, and I've decided to break the 12 days into separate entries for each day's activities, along with observations, thoughts, and very rare complaints (consider them more as suggestions for improvement).

    If you'd like to read about my pre-trip thoughts and reasons for my trip, please read my initial post at Time for Some Me Time.

    I'll start this thread out with a little explanation of how my trip was actually planned.

    Once I committed to this trip, an online friend recommended me to a friend of hers who ran a small travel agency that was affiliated with Disney (no names to respect DIS). I knew next to nothing about modern Disney World (I hadn't visited since 1986) or how to go about planning day-to-day reservations and Fastpasses, etc. The very scope of it all was mind-boggling. I'm somebody who prefers to plan things on my own, but I was concerned that it would take me too long to do my homework and that there would still be too many unknown factors. All I wanted was for this to be as snag-free as possible. So I agreed to sign up with the agent, whose method is to handle EVERYTHING. She not only does booking for all reservations, but she also works out an efficient walking plan for each day to limit backtracking, catching shows, and standing in long lines, etc.

    In the long run I think she did a great job, with the exception of one decision that I'll go into a little later. In the months and days leading up to my trip, however, I found myself more and more anxious because I felt that not only was I not in the driver's seat, but I was essentially locked in the trunk and blind to where we were going. Her method is to create a My Disney account for me, with an ID and password and email also created by her, which meant I was locked out from seeing anything. Because she was the middleman, Disney sent the package with Magicband to her, and then she turned around and sent that, along with printouts of her day-to-day schedule and walking plans and password information. Because of that delay, it meant I didn't receive any of this information or materials until two days before my you can imagine my distress as the clock ticked down. I only had those couple of days to familiarize myself with the times and directions before I was on my way. She did also include a "day bag kit" of all sorts of essentials (hand wipes, pocket kleenex pack, small first-aid kit, hair ties, safety pins, etc.) and a $25 Disney gift card, things I wasn't expecting so it was a very nice and thoughtful gift.

    My employer gave us a nice 4-day weekend for Labor Day, but I wasn't flying until that Saturday, Sept 2, so I spent Friday running last-minute errands, setting up my three cats for limited pet-sitter visits, some house chores, and packing. By Saturday morning, I was essentially ready to go and just had to pack the last-minute essentials.

    Things I forgot to do before leaving?
    • I purchased extra cat litter but forgot to bring it up from the car (my friend and volunteer pet-sitter had to use my car keys and haul up the bag herself)
    • Close my windows (it was nice and cool when I left, but got hot and humid again while I was gone)
    Things I forgot to pack?
    • A hat (frustrating because I'd bought one just for the trip, had to buy one onsite because the sun was brutal--it was worth it as it also cut down on the number of times I had to dig into my backpack to swap glasses/prescription sunglasses)
    • Sudefed or other antihistamine (I don't normally have allergy issues, but one day something I encountered set me off and it was bad enough that I worried I'd caught a cold--I picked up some Sudefed from the resort gift shop and it cleared me right up, no problem the rest of my trip)
    Things I packed that I never used?
    • Swim goggles
    • Rain poncho (I used it once, briefly, but it was too darned hot to wear and I got wetter from sweat than from rain--a small umbrella was much more convenient)
    • Sunscreen lotion (too difficult to apply traveling solo, had to pay resort price for spray-on type)
    Things I didn't pack and didn't anticipate needing?
    • Product to drain my ears after spending half a day at Typhoon Lagoon (despite everything, I could not get my left ear to drain--in desperation, I went to the resort gift store in hopes of finding a solution, and god bless Disney for selling a product specifically for this problem!)
    Things I packed that were super useful?
    • Large size carabiner clip on my day-bag/backpack (awesome for hanging the bag from restroom doors if no hooks were present)
    • Small Umbrella (perfect for handling the typically brief Florida summer afternoon showers, easily fits into a side pocket of my backpack)
    • Wine bottle opener and wine bottle stopper (for obvious reasons)
    • Little bottle of hand sanitizer attached to strap of day bag for quick and regular access
    • Small and large ziplock bags (great for snacks, protecting electronics from rain, leftovers, collecting receipts, etc.)
    • Industrial sized bottle of Aleve (Advil just wasn't cutting it)
    • Two pairs of excellent walking shoes to alternate daily
    • Foot-specific first aid kit (included sheets of moleskin, a small foldable scissors, alcohol wipes, nail clippers, tweezers, safety pin for popping blisters, and blister-specific bandaids) (the scissors came in handy for lots of things)
    • Tennis ball (use as acupressure on bottoms of feet after a long day of walking)
    • Individually packed wet lens wipes (my glasses regularly got smeared, sprinkled, and smudged throughout the day)
    • Hand-held rechargeable fan (this was a life-saver due to the heat/humidity, both walking and while standing in line)(bought a good one on Amazon, uses USB charger, puts out an excellent wind)
    • A couple of loose and light-weight white button-up shirts I could throw on over a tank top to "dress up" for signature dining (rolled up easily and didn't take up much room in the pack)
    • Laundry kit (ziplock containing detergent pods and dryer sheets--with machines already costing $3 per machine per load, I didn't want to spend additional money on supplies that were easily packed)
    • Two rechargeable battery packs (you can spend $30 on a fuel rod and swap them out regularly onsite, but I already owned two of my own, which allowed me to leave one charging while taking the other with me for the day)
    • Four-slot wall-socket/USB charger with two iPhone/iPad adapters and two lines with the other standard charger type (this allowed me to charge two phones, a battery pack, and my portable fan all at the same time, etc.)
    Purchases I regretted?
    • The resort refillable mug (I wasn't using a meal plan, so spent $18 on the mug, but almost never had TIME to use it--I usually ate either at Disney Springs or at the parks, and doing rope-drop nearly every day meant lugging the mug around if I took it with me. Plus I was arriving back at my room too late to want to drink anything. I DID eventually use it a lot when I was forced to extend my stay due to Hurricane Irma, particularly the Monday afterward when the parks were closed, but that was NOT anticipated, and I wouldn't have gotten my money's worth otherwise. I didn't even bring it home with me because it didn't actually hold much and wasn't particularly good at keeping the drink cold for long--that's what I have Tervis glasses for--and it would have just become clutter. I don't even drink soda anymore, but I knew they also offered iced tea, which is why I got it in the first place. I'd have to think hard about whether I'd buy it again--it would totally depend on how many "down days" I've scheduled.)
    Purchases I didn't regret?
    • Travel package insurance (Hello, Irma!)(While Disney offered me 40% off on the three additional nights I ended up staying before I could fly home, it was still a substantial additional expense, plus meals, so the insurance was absolutely worth it--if you're planning any sort of trip to a hurricane-prone region, it's a wise investment.)
    I think that'll do it for this entry--next I'll start the day-by-day notes. :tink:
    I'm so excited to read your trip report! I love Disney and miss Disney World, but haven't been in a few years now (my family moved overseas) so it's cool to think about the possibility of going alone and not having to wait for the next time my family is back in the States!


    Jul 4, 2003
    One thing your trip report reminds me of is that on any trip - whether is is Disney or some other destination - stop. You never know what magical moments you may encounter. The young person playing piano in the Grand Floridian, loving hearing "Harbour Lights", or exploring the Contemporary when you intended to go to the Polynesian are all fantastic examples of what can happen.

    I totally agree that half the battle with Disney is going into it with the right attitude.

    As far as Hollywood Studios goes I am in agreement with you that it lacks the original unifying theme. I'm totally ok with changing the nature of the theme (movie/tv making). I just would prefer that there is a theme. It does seem like it is a smattering of different intellectual properties. As much as I loved Galaxy's Edge when I visited 8 months ago (see my last trip report). I feel like they don't know what to do with it.

    Food and Wine Festival is wonderful. I'm sure the biggest obstacle is the pocketbook. So glad that Irma provided your feet and legs some much needed rest.

    We both definitely enjoy our frozen cocktails. I think I'm going to have to revisit them soon at home to help with my lockdown life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thank you for the trip down memory lane and I'll have to check out your other trips since your 50th birthday solo trip.


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