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Oh the Places We Go, The People We See ...Dream Trip Report

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Now one thing I forgot to mention. I had not told Claire where we were staying our first night. I am terrible at keeping surprises, plus I wanted her to be in on the planning, so a complete surprise trip was out of the question. Also the whole family knew and she was in on the very first planning meeting with family, so she knew about the trip before my sister even did.

So my one try at a “surprise” was to not tell her our first night’s stay. Well that didn’t go real well because I told my Mom one day and Claire was standing right there. Luckily she wasn’t paying much attention, but I was pretty sure she had a good idea. She asked for months, trying to trip me up, but I held on. But I knew she heard me say Animal Kingdom. She still wasn’t sure and even the name didn’t mean a lot to her without a book with pictures.

Once we got off the plane and headed to the bathroom I did tell her then and she was excited. But I could tell she still wasn’t “sure” where this exactly was or what it meant.


The one thing she did know was that it was the last stop and it was taking forever to get there.


Finally we were en route to our destination.




And here we are!!!! It was now around 11:30.











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We got off the bus and waited for our carry on.




And then we made our way to the lobby.




We were both wide eyed and excited. Neither of us have ever been here at all, not even for dinner or to tour, so it was so exciting to see a new resort for the first time.


We went inside and got in the online check in line, which consisted of just us.






And checked in.




Our guy was nice, but very slow. He left for a few minutes and came back with a package.



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Good thing he was on the ball because I wasn’t. I had forgotten about getting this box. Earlier in the week, one of the gals from our cruise group had to cancel suddenly. She said she was sorry and if anyone wanted their Fish Extender gift from her, she would gladly send it. I told her if she wanted to, she could send them all to me at AKL and I would be happy to pass them out for her. I knew she had worked hard on her gifts and I would hate to see them go to waste. The package was waiting for us.


We grabbed that and our packet and were told the room would be ready by 3. They would text me when it was ready. Now I know how many people have been told this only to never get a text, so I knew I would have to check back later. Let’s just throw this out now. I stayed in 3 Disney resorts and all said they would text …I did not receive ONE single text from any of them.


Claire received a princess crown too since I listed we were celebrating her birthday. I have never seen this before, and she seemed a bit unsure about it. LOL




I was disappointed that our room wasn’t ready. I was hoping to have a nap before the party this evening, but we still had time.


So with this box (which was not huge, but awkward to carry), and a carry on, plus we each had a back pack on and Claire had another bag she was carrying, we just kind of set out to rearrange our bags and then send some off to luggage services for a while.


We decided to find a bench outside to do our business.




Passing the pool made Claire very excited and she couldn’t wait to get in it.




We found a secluded area and opened up the bags and got what we needed for the day packed into one bag and put the rest in the others and headed back to luggage services. I must say in the short time I was carrying that box, I was becoming annoyed with it. It was just hard to carry with all our other stuff, so I was glad to be rid of it for a while.


As we walked back inside I took a couple of quick shots.



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  • 2 weeks later...

So I am now not so weighted down and feel so much better. Well sort of. Remember that muffin I had a butt crack thirty this morning? Well it’s long gone now. And the few snacks we had on the plane are not doing it for either of us either.

Claire thought she could suffer and swim for a bit first, but I told her no, eating was first on the list.

Of course as we walked away from Bell services I had to take a few pictures first.






In case you do not know where Mara is …the fast food place in AKL, it’s down stairs from the lobby and outside past the pool.


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We have arrived.






My biggest complaint about deluxes at Disney …the food courts pretty much suck. They have such a small selection. And it seems most carry the same few items.


Claire and I decided to share a flatbread pizza. I knew it would be big enough for the 2 of us. Claire also LOVES pineapple, so we picked up a container of that for her.



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And now was the time to make that decision. What decision is that you ask? Well should I try the Zebra Domes. I have heard off and on for years just how fabulous they are. Then others will chime in and say they are just awful. It seems you love them or hate them. I had asked for descriptions, and people gave me some, but I never quite understood what they were. My fear was that they would taste like coffee, which I hate, or coconut, which I hate. LOL

Well we took the plunge and decided to give them a try.


We paid for our food and were handed a buzzer for the pizza. Another note, it was really weird how you ordered here. They had someone standing there with a pad of paper, printed with the selections and they checked off what you wanted from the grill area. I guess they then took it back there then to be filled.

We sat and started on the pineapple and waited for the pizza.


And we opened up the zebra domes and gave them a try. Verdict is that we like them. I think they are good, but not fabulous. Claire really enjoyed them though.

My description of them is that they are like a chocolaty shell with chocolate mousse type stuff inside. Our outside shell was kind of melty though and we got a little messy eating them. I also would not be able to eat many in a row. One or 2 was fine, but more than that might be a bit too much. We did finish off the box, but I think Claire ate more than I did.

Soon our pizza was ready and we dove into that too.


Now I complained about the selection, but the taste was still very good. I just wouldn’t want to eat this every day as it would become tiresome and boring.

While we ate we called Skip and checked in with him. We told him we were having lunch and he seemed disgusted because the last time he had talked to us we were eating at the Cheesecake Factory. He made some kind of sarcastic comment about that. Well I informed him that we pretty much hadn’t had anything to eat in between time, so we were now hungry.

Claire talked to him a bit and we hung up.



We headed out after that and our mission was now swimming. Well not mine, but Claire was all for it. I even walked around a bit looking at things, but with all the griping next to me it was just not meant to be and we headed to the bathroom to change.


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These bathrooms near the pool are VERY nice. They had showers in the back and were very clean. We chose the handicapped shower stall as it had a stool to place our bag on and got Claire changed.




And out we went, passing the VERY tiny kiddie pool.


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Pool Time!!!!!


Claire really like the zero entry.

I was then given instructions. I am sure if you are a Mom, or even a Dad, you know about these “rules” you have to follow. I was to walk to the other side of the pool and then “wait” and watch her come in from the zero entry side. Of course she made it much more complicated and there was a reason for this, though I am not sure what it was. I did as I was told and then watched (and took pictures) of her coming in.




I settled on a chair and pulled out my kindle, took my shoes off and relaxed a few minutes and shot a few pictures as well.



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I then kind of looked out and around for the slide and spotted it. I found it and pointed it out to Claire. I now had new rules. I had to move close to the slide so she could swim over there and go on it. I told her I could see her just fine from where I was, but that was not the correct answer. I NEEDED to be over near the slide. I am sure this had to do with a bit of the jitters about going on the slide for the 1st time by herself.

So I gathered my stuff and moved over a little ways closer to the slide.


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I settled in once again. Claire slowly swam over. Like I said, I think she was nervous and excited about going on the slide. I took some pictures while I waited for the “moment”.


That is the pool bar over on the other side.



And now the moment we all have been waiting for. She is going to go on the slide!!!



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I was supposed to take a picture of her coming down, but it was hard to see and then time it right. I think this is her head just going under.


That was not good enough for her and I had to keep trying off and on all day long.

I liked this sign, too bad it’s kind of hidden.



So Claire’s goal was to go down the slide as many times as she could, and I was supposed to take a picture of her each and every time.




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Ok, after about 50 times down, I told her that I think I could sit down now as I am sure I got at least a couple of pictures with her in it.

I loved that the resort had free wifi, and though it’s not the best and I would lose it every so often, it was great to take my kindle out and try to catch up on facebook. Sadly facebook doesn’t always like me and at times I try to post and it tells me it can’t be done. I had this issue at home and thought maybe it was my connection there, but it did it to me at Disney as well, so it’s just me in general that isn’t liked. LOL

Claire had spent about a half hour of going down the slide and then she wanted to go check out the hot tub.





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Getting artsy.




And pool games.


Pool games, I think, are more common now at all resorts than they used to be. I think up until last year, they really didn’t have much going on at Values, at least not like they do now. But since we never really have taken a full resort/pool day, we have never witnessed this too much. This was all new to Claire and as the time went on, she really loved “watching” the games.

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really enjoying your review thanks for sharing! We're going on the Dream next month and can't wait!!


Thanks. I love the Dream ...and eventually I will be writing about it. ;) Life keeps getting in the way of my posting unfortunately.

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Claire and I kept on with our exploring.


We found the sign for Simbas kids club and went in search of it.


It appeared to be down a hallway and we gave up fast.




We then went in search of more animals. I believe these shots were taken through a window.


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