View Full Version : WED's Spectacular Trip Report!!!
12-12-2011, 12:33 PM
Preface: This trip was truly magical for many reasons. First, I'm the same age as MK, so I had to share my 40th with my favorite place. Second, we were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and there were a couple great pixie-dust moments associated with that which I will explain as my report evolves. Third, this was my 10th visit to WDW. Finally, and most importantly, about six months ago DW was hit by a car while riding her bike. For a couple hours there, I wasn't sure she would ever see WDW again. This trip meant so much to her. To just be able to walk around and see everything was the best magic of all.
Day One (November 26th, 2011): Up at 4:15 for our 6:15 flight. What a whirlwind, walking the dog, last minute checks of all our stuff, getting the dog to her sitters (mom and dad). It seemed as if we had barely awoke before we were sitting on our plane with Disney dreams in our heads.
Had a brief lay-over in Memphis. I don't think its fair that they line the concourse with BBQ joints when I don't have the time to sample them all. :)
Arrived in Orlando at 11:25 (the ONLY benefit of taking a red-eye flight). Was impressed with the ME service. We stood in line for maybe 15 minutes before boarding our bus. And what a surprise, POR was the first stop for our bus. With the on-line check-in, we were in our room by 1pm. Well ahead of our luggage, but we had packed our carry-ons with that possibility in mind. Because of DW's injuries to her leg, I had asked for a preferred room. We were in building 27, which worked for us. Relatively close to everything.
What a beautiful resort! We will be staying here from now on if I have anything to say about it. The attention to detail, the relaxed lay-out, the theming. Loved it all! Since we had so much time this trip (10 days) this first day was to acclimate and settle in to the resort. We fought the urge to immediately hit a park by grabbing a short nap. Afterwards, we went over to check out all the ammenities. By the time we returned, our luggage had arrived and we got all unpacked. We then decided to take a carriage ride. What a great time! We learned that our horse, Bob, was from Iowa (like us) and had been raised by one of the Ammish communities we have here. He was a beautiful, gentle guy. Our driver, Steve, was excellent and he took us on a romantic tour of the Sassagoula and the French Quarter.
We had dinner at Boatwrights. I don't see a lot written about this place on the DIS, but we had a wonderful dinner with great service. The food was excellent. I had catfish with an andoullie sausage crust. Fabulous!!! Have to see if the recipe is in any of the WDW cookbooks.
Then early to bed for our first day at MK.
Next chapter: Wow! EMH are awesome!
12-12-2011, 01:13 PM
HI! I just saw your TR and popped in. what a great start and I cannot wait to read about your pixie dusted trip. I can truly imagine the joy at going to WDW with so much to celebrate, especially being there with your DW after what sounds like a horrible close call.
Looking forward to reading on!
12-13-2011, 12:36 PM
Day Two, November 27th:
Our first full day at WDW, so of course we needed to spend it at MK. This day began a little rough. DW woke up around 4 a.m. with a migraine. I discovered this at 6 a.m. when I awoke and found her taking a hot bath in the dark. I was a little concerned as we were planning on 8 a.m. EMHs at the MK. However, as I have learned over 10 years of marriage, I kept this concern to myself and did everything that was needed to get DW feeling better and ready to roll. Remarkably enough, we still made it to MK by about 8:10 and off we went!
You will see the following statement many times during this trip report: We WALKED on to (insert ride here)! I couldn't believe what a difference getting there for RD, especially combined with EMH, made for our trip. I assume it also was effected by the time of year.
We headed straight for SWSA. In all my trips I had never been on this, and neither had DW. Decided we needed to do it since it will be gone before too long. It was a little corny, but great as well since it was our first time and it will be a piece of history soon.
Then came PPF!! In all our trips together DW had never experienced the joy of this ride. We were usually too busy to wait, or it never quite worked out that we could FP it. But here we were with no wait and it was amazing to see her reaction when all of the sudden we were flying through London and Neverland. I really hope this ride sticks around for 40 more years. There isn't much to it, but the concept is genius IMHO.
I'll just breakdown the rides that followed:
Mickey's Philharmagic: 5 min wait
IASW: Walked on
HM: Walked on
BTMRR: Walked on
PotC: Walked on
I am so happy with the work they have done to HM!! This is the first chance I'd had to see the new queu and the interior updates. What an amazing job! We loved it all. I was especially happy with the changes made to the attic, and the new tech with the hitch-hiking ghosts.
Splash was down this day. Anyone else there who heard anything? We were told merely "techinical difficulties".
Stopped for lunch at Tortuga Tavern. This was a first for us. We split some decent nachos. We'll probably return to Pecos Bill's, our traditional lunch standby at MK. Then we split a Dole Whip, and on to Tomorrow Land.
Grabbed FPs for SM, as at that point it had a 30 minute wait, and WALKED ON to Buzz Lightyear, PeopleMover, and waited about 10 minutes for the Laugh Factory. This was our first time on LF. I was impressed and would like to learn more about the tech they use. We had a lot of fun.
Now it was time for our SM ride. Didn't need the FPs. The SB line had dropped to 10 minutes during the hour we waited. I kept turning to DW and saying "is this really happening?" All these waits in Tomorrow Land were between 1pm and about 2:30pm. Unbelievable and never seen by me before!!
Some words about Space Mountain. Has it gotten rougher, or have we just gotten older? DW really aggravated her lower back, and my back hurt a bit as well. While I love this ride, this may have been our last Space Mountain experience.
Did some window shopping on Main Street and then back to POR for a nap. Again, it totally blew our minds that we had seen all we wanted to see at MK by 3pm. After our nap, we got cleaned up and headed over to EPCOT for dinner at the Coral Reef.
Coral Reef is another restaurant that doesn't seem to get a lot of press around here. My parents had been last May and had enjoyed it, so we took the recommendation. We had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the meal. It was a bit loud in there, but the decor was pretty. I would encourage you to try the Lobster Bisque, and if you like the adult beverages, the Rum Runner was fantastic!
Listened to Illuminations as we exited to beat the crush. When did they change the time to 9:30? I had expected 9:00 for Illuminations and hadn't heard otherwise here on the DIS. Back to POR to recharge for another day.
Next up: DW goes Spa crazy at the Dolphin, I do KTTK, and our first pixie-dust moment at Blue Zoo!
12-14-2011, 09:08 AM
wow those are some FAST no-wait times! amazing! What is SWSA? I am wracking my brain trying to figure that one:confused3..I may have to go find the abbreviations thread
Glad that DW's migraine faded enough to let you have a magical morning!
12-14-2011, 10:00 AM
SWSA: Snow White's Scary Adventure.....sorry.
12-14-2011, 12:26 PM
Day Three, November 28th:
DW had a spa day today at Mandara, at the Dolphin. She took a cab as it was only a 10 minute drive that way, as opposed to using boats and busses to get there. I'm not big on this stuff, but she wanted me to post for those who are so they can get a sense of the services offered there. So here goes. Her day began with a yummy-smelling (her words;)) Mango body-polish, which was followed by an hour-long deep massage. Then she got to sit, I believe on a patio somewhere with some Mango-ginger tea while they prepared her next experience. This was an hour-long facial treatment which included a freezing cold mask that hardened before being removed. She finished with a two-hour mani-pedi. DW really enjoyed everything except the mani-pedi. She said they seemed kind of slow and inexperienced with it.
I spent my morning doing the KTTK tour. Boy was that worth the money! I arrived at 8:30, even though I had the 9:30 tour, because CMs had told me they would let me in, even if I was early. They weren't joking. I was allowed around the rope and into the park before opening. That, in and of itself, was worth the price. You really feel like a VIP when you get to do that. I checked in and then was allowed to roam main street with the CMs and others gathered for the tour. Got some SWEET shots of MK with empty streets! I heard the countdown to RD so I ran back down Main Street to see what it was like from the CM side of things. I thought it was pretty scary! Watching the flood of guests approach was a wild perspective to say the least.:eek: Our tour guide was Sean, and he was excellent. Got to ride JC, which he had captained in his earlier days. We went backstage to see the staging area for the parades and to check out some of the floats. Then made our way to CCH for lunch. This was something special as I got to sit with Sean and we discovered we were both super nostalgic for old Future World at EPCOT. We chatted quite a bit about the changes over there and our varied opinions about it. It was really cool to get the Keys To The Kingdom pins at lunch as well. Then on to Haunted Mansion where he let us in on a few secrets. Finally it was on to the Utilidors. I'd been waiting for this and we spent nearly an hour down there checking everything out. It was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to everyone!!
Just as the tour wrapped up, in rolled the dark clouds and it started to rain. DW and I linked up again at POR and took a nice little nap.
We then headed over to the Dolphin where we had dinner at Blue Zoo. We had been planning on making this our "formal" dinner for our anniversary, but with the rain and dip in temperature, we ended up wearing our Disney hoodies and jeans. I was worried about our appearance, but we were treated with respect by everyone there and felt right at home. This place has some of the best seafood we have ever had, and I encourage everyone to try it out. Now the pixie dust I was promising. Our server had noted our 10th Anniversary buttons. At the end of our meal we asked about a certain dessert they had and whether they thought it would travel so we could take it back to our room. They said they didn't think it would make it, so we said OK and just asked for the bill. A few minutes later here comes the server and the host. They have the dessert we had asked for, notified us it was on the house for our special occasion, and someone had written "happy 10th anniversary" in chocolate sauce on the plate. This may seem small in the big scheme of things, but it certainly made for a magical ending to our evening.
We took the bus from Dolphin over to DTD and ended up doing some shopping at WoD before grabbing the boat back to POR.
Next: EPCOT Future World and the Surry Bike scare!!!
12-15-2011, 12:32 PM
Day four, November 29th:
It was our plan to do EPCOT: FW together today, but DW was feeling the effects of her car accident after our first few days here, and really wanted to sleep in. SO, off I went for a solo AM EMH. I got to the gate at about 8:15. At this time of year I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the EMH in the morning because I proceeded to WALK ON:
SE, M:S, TT, Imagination and LS. I was impressed with the changes they have made to SE. I know it has caught some flak around here but I thought the descent was entertaining and I also enjoyed the post-show attractions. The outside portion of TT was very chilly to say the least; 60mph at 9 a.m. in November is a bit cold! I had a had time remembering my last ride on Imagination in '06. Have they continued to make some modifications? It seemed better than the last visit, but it still pales horribly in comparison with the original. And I was really torn on The Seas with Nemo. I like what they have done with the Finding Nemo additions, but I am concerned by the growing lack of "science" in Future World, which is what it was supposed to be all about, IMHO.
By 10:30 I was done with my FW experience, so I headed back to POR and had a quick lunch with DW at the food court. I continued to be impressed with the offerings for CS, all around the park. I think they have made a concerted effort to offer more healthy/quality choices. One can still find a good burger or hot dog, but you do have options now.
We decided to rent a Surry Bike and did three laps around the resort. We almost spilled coming down a hill the first time around!:eek: That was exciting. NOT! The "brake" on those things leaves a little to be desired, but we still had a blast over all.
Insert nap here.
Back to EPCOT for the evening. DW got to try SE and The Seas, where she got some great shots of the fish all over the exhibit. We then enjoyed a very romantic dinner at Chefs De France. This was a first for us again, and I can say with certainty that we'll be back! We thought the food was great. Our server, Nina, was very good and we all had a lot of fun.
Made it out of EPCOT as Illuminations was starting, so we avoided the crush once again. One of the benefits of being blessed with this much time at WDW is knowing we have time to catch the show another day. Bought a couple adult beverages back at POR and settled in for the night. Tomorrow is our first "official" sleep in day as we have nothing scheduled until La Nouba at 6pm
Next Up: Some MK magic, the spectacle of La Nouba, and House of Blues gives me the blues
12-16-2011, 09:09 AM
Day 5, November 30th:
We both took the opportunity to sleep in today, and it was well worth it. Once we got up and about, we headed over to MK around 10 a.m. DW is a photographer and she wanted to roam the park and get some shots. We also hoped to catch Splash Mountain, which had been broken down on Sunday.
Had a late breakfast at the Main Street Bakery. DW got the food while I ran for FPs to Splash. Boy, do they have some awesome blueberry muffins! During the photo safari, we saw HofP. It seemed to me they had made a few minor upgrades, but I'm not sure since I've been away for so long. I wasn't very happy with the Obama animatronic. I didn't think it looked anything like him.
Then came Splash Mountain. Again we didn't really need the FPs. SB was only 5 minutes! I really don't know what all the people were doing at the parks. There was a good amount of folks walking around, but all the rides were basically walk ons. I was happy that everything seemed to be working on Splash this time around. Those lap-bars really make things sort of tight, don't they? We actually got wet this time as well. That hasn't happened in many visits. We then took a ride on BTMRR to dry off, and decided to catch the HM as well.
Back to POR in the early afternoon. Met a nice, older couple waiting for the bus who were celebrating their 60th visit. I was impressed! Maybe I'll hit that number some day.
Took the boat to DTD for La Nouba. It was nothing short of spectacular! We've always wanted to see a Cirque show and it was well worth the price. I need to make special thanks here to my fellow Dissers. By reading all of your wonderful reviews I was able to get us some of the best seats in the house, IMO. Section 204, just to the right of the control board. The pre-show happened right in front of us, and we could see the entire hi-wire acts without getting sore necks! DW was impressed that I found those seats. I told her to thank the DIS!!
Afterwards, we had supper at House of Blues. It was a neat place, but I was not impressed with the food. I had Jambalaya, that was supposedly spicy. It was pretty lame. We make better Cajun food up here in frozen Iowa!
Made the mistake of taking the boat back to POR. This was the only cold night of our trip. I believe it had dipped to around 50, and that made for a really chilly ride back to the resort. Thank goodness for resort mugs and plenty of hot cocoa!!
Next up: Our World Showcase day!
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