View Full Version : Scooter Adventures, Twinsies Reunited, and a Bit of Christmas Cheer! Complete 6/22

12-25-2012, 09:56 PM
Hello everyone! I'm Gretchen. 21 years old, just finished my first semester in my doctorate of audiology program, former WDWCP, and technically still seasonally employed by Disney.

I took this trip with my mom, Debbie. And the twinsie mentioned is my BFF PB, who I met on the college program and who still lives in Florida. Mom and I stayed at Wilderness Lodge for the first time, and we had a lot of other firsts too: DDP, MVMCP, and all the Christmas stuff in general. We went at a much slower pace than normal, not a lot of rides, more relaxing. So let's get started!

December 17th
-Best Flight Ever! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46996970&postcount=5)
-A Room with a View! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46998320&postcount=8)
-Twinsies Reunited (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47026093&postcount=12)
-"Chugga Chugga Chugga!"

December 18th
-A Lazy Morning (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47083636&postcount=18)
-Pre-Party Fun (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47188648&postcount=24)
-"What would happen if we mixed red dye with my green outfit?" (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47215264&postcount=25)

December 18th
-"Just buy a Dooney already!" (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47288909&postcount=28)
-Hear the Lion Roar! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47640243&postcount=30)
-"Where did the camera go?" (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48062008&postcount=32)
-Let Your Dreams Come True Tonight! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48062079&postcount=33)
-"You need to learn how to drive that wheelchair": Parts 1 (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48062124&postcount=34) and 2 (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48062128&postcount=35)

December 20th
-In Which the Scooter Dies :sad: (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48174596&postcount=38)

12-26-2012, 09:07 AM
I'm in !!! I love a good scooter story :rotfl2::rotfl::moped:

12-26-2012, 09:13 AM
I am in! :)

12-26-2012, 04:16 PM
I'm in !!! I love a good scooter story :rotfl2::rotfl::moped:

I am in! :)

Welcome! We have many good scooter stories!

12-26-2012, 04:49 PM
Our day started around 6am. Grandma came and drove us to the airport around 6:30. Before we left, we took our traditional pictures of the luggage and and me erasing the last Mickey head from our calendar.

Of course, on the way to the airport, Grandma took the slow route and managed to hit every single light. :headache: But we made it just after 7. This was the most painless check in ever. We had already checked in online, so all we had to do was print the boarding passes and check the luggage. No wait, and soon we were on our way to security, where there was also no wait, and thankfully, no problems.

We've never flown JetBlue before. In fact, since we started flying semi-regularly almost 8 years ago, we've only ever flown Southwest. But JetBlue was a bit cheaper this time. Our boarding passes said Gate 7, so I thought this was our plane, but then it was changed to Gate 8.

We started boarding around 8:20 and had picked seats 17 E & F ahead of time. Unlike Southwest, there wasn't a huge backlog of people because they started boarding from the back and everyone knew where they were supposed to go! The pilot forewarned us that there might be some turbulence going South, but there was none at all. It was literally the smoothest flight I've ever been on. We enjoyed the snacks (I had the iced animal crackers) and I loved that they gave us the whole soda can! I may have watched the DirecTV for a bit, but I mainly watched the map, listened to my iPhone and played Solitaire.

We landed right on time, and the pilot continued his winning streak: we didn't even feel the touchdown and there was no slamming on the brakes. This tree was waiting for us in the airside terminal at MCO.

I didn't like the automatic tram on this side at all. It was completely enclosed at the loading station, which was very claustrophobic feeling. But I was shocked when we got to the main terminal, went down to level 1 and the Magical Express area was RIGHT THERE! No loooooonnnnng trek down the whole terminal!

As usual, there was no queue at ME, and we were immediately directed into Line 4.

We waited about two minutes to be loaded onto a bus, but there were only two other people on it, so we did sit for about 10-15 more minutes while a handful of other people were loaded as well. While we were waiting I got a call from Apple Scooter, telling us our scooter hadn't been delivered yet (I had requested it be dropped off at 12), but it should be there soon. (Mom has a host of back problems, including a bulging disc.)

I really love the new ME buses, they seem to handle much better than the old ones. Our driver was Benjamin and he was awesome. He chatted with those of us seated up front and shared trivia and information. We were seated in the front row, so I was able to get pretty decent pictures of the arch.

And soon enough, we were approaching this new (horrible in my opinion; I always thought the pink and purple was more magical) Magic Kingdom toll plaza.

Our first stop was the Poly.

Then it was over to the Grand Floridian before finally making our way to Wilderness Lodge.

All in all, it took about an hour from the time we first boarded the bus to the time we got off at WL. Megan greeted us at the Port Cochere, and she was exactly the kind of cast member you want to encounter upon arrival: extremely cheerful and welcoming. She led us into the lobby, went and got our check in packet for us (we had done online check in), and explained the contents of the folder before sending us on our way. Mom also went to Bell Services, and found out that the scooter still wasn't there. Before we headed up to the room, I snapped a picture of the gorgeous tree in the lobby.

12-26-2012, 04:56 PM
Joining In :goodvibes Great start. -Amanda

12-26-2012, 04:57 PM
I'm in !!! I love a good scooter story :rotfl2::rotfl::moped:

HAHAHA we know you do!!

12-26-2012, 08:04 PM
Megan had told us we would be in room 4151. We had booked a courtyard view (60% off with my CM discount!), and I had specifically requested third or fourth floor, center courtyard view. Our room was about halfway down the second extending wing on the south side of the lodge. I did like the new RFID locks because I didn't have to take my card out of my lanyard to open the door.

Looking into the room:
Storage and fridge to the left:
Closet to the left:
Vanity to the right:
Tub to the right of the vanity:
The rest of the room:
Coathooks near the connecting door (I would totally buy this for my house):
Painting next to the bed:

And then...the view:
OH MY GOD! It was like they took the image of what I wanted our view to be right out of my head and matched it exactly! Heavenly. I've never had the urge to actually just sit on the balcony before, and we never did get around to it, but I did spend a lot of time just looking out the doors.

We were quite hungry by that time, so we headed down to Roaring Fork to get some lunch. It was our first time using the dining plan, but we didn't find it hard to figure out. Our entree was the Pork & Slaw Sandwich with a side of house made chips, and for dessert we chose the Magic Cookie Bar. Our mugs were also "purchased" at this time, and we never really got good use out of them on this trip-I think we only filled them up two or three times.

All the food was very yummy. After lunch, we headed back up to the room to take a nap...and found that the pool party that happens every afternoon was blaring up to our room as well. I didn't have my earplugs yet because they were in the checked luggage, so I didn't end up napping. We could also hear the boat horns and the geyser erupting. I played on the internet for a bit, but the Wi-Fi was pretty bad. The "In Room" network would make me disconnect and reconnect literally every other page. The "Public Areas" network was a little weaker signal and therefore a bit slower connection, but it didn't kick me off nearly as much.

Around 3pm there was a knock on our door: Bell Services with our luggage from Magical Express! We had only checked into the hotel two hours prior, so that was definitely the best experience we've had (and much better than my last experience, where I didn't get my luggage for something like six and a half hours after I had checked in!). I also went down to the Bell Services desk in the lobby around 3:45 or so and was pleased to find out that the scooter had finally showed up! I got the key and drove it back up to the room. Found out the hard way that as soon as you let go of the drive handle, it stops. Immediately. Mom got up around 4 and we got ready to head over to the Studios to meet PB and have some fun!

12-26-2012, 09:12 PM
Joining in! Wow, that view is amazing :eek: I really want to stay at Wilderness Lodge one day because its just beautiful. I can't wait to hear about your trip!

12-28-2012, 01:03 PM
Wow, Wilderness Lodge looks stunning! I've never been there before, but I'd love to stay there sometime. It looks like the Christmas decorations there are perfect :)

12-29-2012, 11:51 PM
Joining in! Wow, that view is amazing :eek: I really want to stay at Wilderness Lodge one day because its just beautiful. I can't wait to hear about your trip!

Wow, Wilderness Lodge looks stunning! I've never been there before, but I'd love to stay there sometime. It looks like the Christmas decorations there are perfect :)

It was absolutely beautiful. The one major issue we had was how hard the beds were-enough that it prevented us from getting a good night's sleep, and so we probably wouldn't stay there again. But the decorations were awesome-I have tons of pics of them coming up!

12-30-2012, 12:13 AM
After Mom woke up from her nap we ventured out to the bus stop. Our destination? Hollywood Studios! The bus came within about two minutes. Mom almost ran over the bus driver loading her scooter on, and that was when we learned that it always has to be in turtle mode when going on and off the bus!

We stopped at Ft. Wilderness (all the buses to theme parks share with the Fort) and soon we were on our way. Here's the DHS tree:

The new RFID turnstiles were operating but we couldn't use them because our tickets weren't on our room keys. (Side note, but I don't understand these new turnstiles. How do they actually keep people out? When the guests get frustrated with the finger scan, as they often do, what's to stop them from just pushing past the CM and running into the park?)

Heading up Hollywood Boulevard, I saw a balloon vendor. I've been wanting this balloon for literally almost three years now, and we could finally get one for a reason other than total frivolity: to help find the scooter in crowds!

Mom was hungry so we used my free popcorn and soft drink coupons to get a snack. I was also texting my twinsie, PB, about where he was. He had told me he was on the Great Movie Ride, so we were heading towards the Hat, but as it turned out he had gone out to the buses to meet us! So he came back and it was like I'd never left. Unfortunately, there are literally no pictures of us together from this trip.

On Sunset Blvd, I told Mom she could go join the Fantasmic crowd area while PB and I went on Tower and Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. Tower had a pretty short wait, maybe 20 minutes. People must really hate being in attractions with us, because we can quote almost everything and we do. And we're real kill joys on thrill rides in particular, just saying stupid stuff really loudly like, "There's an eyeball looking at us!" and "Oh, I think we're going to fall now..."

After we'd returned from the Twilight Zone we headed over to the coaster, but the single rider line was closed and the stand by was 40 minutes. Not happening. I had left my phone with Mom and she texted PB that she was in row H of the ampitheater, dead center in the Mickey section. This is news folks: 1)She figured out how to work my iPhone all by herself! 2) She actually followed directions! (She has herself admitted that her brain disappears on vacation and relies on me to be the thinker.) So we went to join her. Mom liked the new pre-show, but PB and I find it a little boring-in fact, we could probably host the darn thing, we've seen it so many times. The theater filled up a lot slower than I expected-I don't think the Beast section completely filled up until about 10 minutes before showtime. And then the show started! The twinsies love Fantasmic, but Mom hadn't seen it in almost six years-I'm glad to report she liked it much more this time than she did in the past! I didn't take any pictures this time because I took a bazillion pictures during January-August, which will be posted in my other trip report.

Then it was time for something completely new: The Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights. Absolutely amazing, and we stayed back there for about 45 minutes.
Look at the flurries of snow!

And I also took some short videos.
Here Comes Santa Claus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvqkoyfHTZY)
Parade of the Wooden Soldiers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTIho6PFyVQ)
Feliz Navidad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC_ZCS1PYSU)
Christmas Eve Sarajevo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qNxa-NIk2E)
Christmas Eve Sarajevo Finale (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSlqo1daKHI)

When we'd had our fill of the lights, we headed back up to Echo Lake, as it was almost time for our ADR at one of our favorite restaurants: 50s Prime Time Cafe!

12-30-2012, 11:09 AM
HAHAHA we know you do!!


12-30-2012, 11:16 AM
Loving your TR so far !! Looking forward to reading more !! Wonderful photos !!

12-31-2012, 01:36 PM
* I'm with you, I don't really completely understand how the new turnstiles are supposed to work. I'm very curious to see how they work out the issues with that.
* Love the Mickey balloons! I've always wanted one but have never actually bought one either. Well, we are doing an anniversary photoshoot at one of the resorts for our August trip and I think we may buy a Mickey balloon to have in some of our photos, I thought that would be fun. So I'm excited about finally getting one too lol!
* Interesting that your mom enjoyed Fantasmic more this time around than a few years ago. The last time my husband saw it he didn't really enjoy it that much, but I'm hoping to change his mind someday!
* Love your Osborne lights pics. They seem stunning.

01-02-2013, 05:58 PM
Loving your TR so far !! Looking forward to reading more !! Wonderful photos !!

Thank you!

* I'm with you, I don't really completely understand how the new turnstiles are supposed to work. I'm very curious to see how they work out the issues with that.
* Love the Mickey balloons! I've always wanted one but have never actually bought one either. Well, we are doing an anniversary photoshoot at one of the resorts for our August trip and I think we may buy a Mickey balloon to have in some of our photos, I thought that would be fun. So I'm excited about finally getting one too lol!
* Interesting that your mom enjoyed Fantasmic more this time around than a few years ago. The last time my husband saw it he didn't really enjoy it that much, but I'm hoping to change his mind someday!
* Love your Osborne lights pics. They seem stunning.

I should probably ask one of my friends that have been trained on the turnstiles how they work, since I won't be able to go back and work on them before my six month grace period ends.

The Mickey balloons are very fun. Just a tip, you cannot have them at Animal Kingdom park or AKL.

I think my mom liked Fantasmic more this time partly due to the circumstances. The last time she saw it, it was the last night of my high school band trip. She was a chaperone and the whole trip was just a bad experience for her. This time we were also in the 8th row, and last time we were up at the very top in wheelchair section, so she may have liked it better now since she could actually see what was happening!

01-02-2013, 06:22 PM
When we finished up with the Lights, we walked back up towards the front. Our ADR at 50s was at 8:20 and we checked in a little early. It was a great experience, as usual. Mom ordered the Blue Crab Salad, Meatloaf, and S'mores.

I chose the Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese, the Pot Roast, and a PB&J shake.

And PB ordered the Onion Rings and Meatloaf.

Carole was our waitress, and she was very fun. She made a mom at another table eat her last bite of dinner airplane style, and fed the Guest Relations tour guide with that family finish his vegetables while we all banged on our tables and yelled "Chugga Chugga Chugga!" When we were done with dinner, we slowly made our way out of the park, taking more pictures along the way.

We said goodbye to PB for the time being, and he boarded the tram back to his car. Mom and I walked to our bus stop, and there was only one other family waiting there (this was around 9:20pm, so an hour and twenty minutes after official park closing). A bus pulled up in about five minutes, we got Mom loaded on and soon we were on our way back to the lodge. Back in our room, Mom took another picture of the view.

And right at 10pm, much to my surprise and delight, we were able to see the higher Wishes fireworks over the north wing! I was almost crying because I was so happy. The first day was amazing, and we had a pretty relaxing second day planned. I went to bed, fell asleep almost instantly, and, per my usual first night at Disney, didn't move at all.

01-04-2013, 07:32 PM
Tuesday morning we slept in a bit, until about 9:30. I went down to Roaring Fork to get us some breakfast to bring back to the room. We were originally going to order room service, but the current menu is different from any of the ones online, and none of the selections sounded all that great. So we checked the allears menu for Roaring Fork (also out of date) and Mom told me to get her pancakes and bacon. When I got down there, I was very happy to see they do have Mickey waffles, in three kinds: Strawberries & Cream, Chocolate Lover's, and Banana's Foster.

There was virtually no line at either station, and they even gave me fresh pancakes, even though there were still a few sitting in the serving dish.
I paid for this meal out of pocket, but I did get a 20% cast member discount. The food was absolutely delicious. Mom adored the pancakes and fruit, and my waffles were out of this world. A perfect start to the day!

After that, we were still pretty tired (the beds were super hard and we both had a hard time sleeping on them) so we went back to bed for a few more hours. When I woke up again I went down to the Mercantile to buy the Minnie Santa ears to wear to the Christmas Party that night, and I also picked up a purple Tinker Bell magnet for my car. Back at the room, I convinced Mom to get up, and we took our leftovers from 50s down to Roaring Fork to heat up for lunch. We also got a carrot Cupcake to share.

This cupcake was massive! Very moist and the frosting was amazingly creamy-I think it may have topped the Carrot Cake Cookie from Writer's Stop at DHS! All of the cupcakes in the case looked good, and I wouldn't have minded trying the Smores one, but alas, we never got around to it.

During lunch I realized that I had left the memory card for the camera in my computer so I ran back up to the room to get that. I had been texting PB about meeting up the next day, and Mom went to call Grandma in the meantime, using my phone-only to find that in between texts, AT&T turned off my service due to a bill snafu. :headache:

Putting that off for the moment, we decided to go explore the decorations around the resort.

Some close-ups of the decorations on the tree (they were HUGE, probably as big as my head!):

We wandered over to the Villas as well, to check out their decorations.

Heading back towards the Lodge, we decided to walk towards the dock to see if the boat was taking ECVs, but no captains were there for us to ask. It was almost 3pm, and Fire Rock Geyser was set to erupt, so we joined the small crowd to watch it.
Baby ducklings!

And looking back at the lodge, you can see the "Bear Face".

We headed back up to the room to get ready for MVMCP and I also took care of my phone bill. :mad: Then it was out to bus, which came almost instantly! :cool1:

01-08-2013, 02:14 PM
Food at the 50's Prime Time looks really tasty! I like the looks of that crab salad! I like that you took the day slowly and spent some time to check out all of the decorations. Very pretty!

01-08-2013, 02:52 PM
I'm in again! Love trips with you and your mom!


01-10-2013, 07:59 PM
Hiya Gretchen! I am frantically trying to catch up on all of the Christmas PTRs I was reading and cross over to the TRs! Happy to have caught up with yours :goodvibes

Iím glad the easy check-in at the airport made up for grandmaís slow driving/bad route. Nice flight, Iím glad that JetBlue worked out so well. And very cool that that terminal drops you so close to the ME area. We used Apple Scooters too (second time weíve used them) and have always been happy with their equipment and service. Sorry they didnít have the scooter there for your mom when you got to the resort.

Front row on ME Ė lucky! Iím still on the fence about the new MK entrance colors, so very used to the old color scheme. Nice decorations in the lobby at WL and cool that Megan was such a good CM in welcoming you both. Interesting that they hide the mini-fridge in the room to keep the lodge theming. I liked the character tiles in the shower.

Amazing view, could ask for better than that! :thumbsup2 Your lunch looked great, I love Memphis-style pulled pork sandwiches. Too bad about all the noise when you wanted to grab a nap. And we had the same issue with the in-room WiFi, it was pathetic and same scenario in the public areas :headache:

Nice that the luggage came so fast and that the scooter showed up before you wanted to leave for a park!

DW uses the scooter and even though she drove one in April of í11 she still did the same thing your mom did the first time she tried loading up on the bus. Slow and steady is the way to go. Love that DHS tree, very festive. I like the scooter beacon as an excuse to get the Mickey head balloon ;)

Sorry you didnít get any pics with you and PB together. That is the downside of being the person operating the camera, very hard to be in many shots. Iím sure after being behind the scenes and riding the rides so often you canít help but get campy with responses to the ride elements. Glad you all enjoyed Fantasmic!

I wish we had spent as much time looking at the Osborne lights as you did. By the time we got over to it we had been at DHS 11hrs straight and the fam was done so we didnít even make it through the whole song cycle. Great pics of the lights Ė love the shot with you at the umbrella!

50s Prime Time is always a good choice to finish off a DHS day, yum! So cool that you had a quick trip back to the resort and that you could see some of the Wishes fireworks! :wizard:

Sleeping in and a great spread for breakfast Ė thatís the way to start a day! Too bad those beds were so hard, hope sleeping a little more after breakfast made up for it. Yay for remembering your memory card before you left the resort. Yikes on losing cell service during the trip :eek:

Nice decorations, I can almost smell the wood and pine. Nice rainbow at the geyser too! Glad you got the cell phone thing settled before you left for MVMCP! Looking forward to hearing more Disney Christmas Adventures! :yay:

01-12-2013, 02:29 PM
Joining in! Yay for staying at the WL! I love all of your pictures. It really is an amazing place at Christmas.

I first heard about the "bear face" right before we were going to stay there and it took me forever to see it!

01-12-2013, 04:38 PM
Food at the 50's Prime Time looks really tasty! I like the looks of that crab salad! I like that you took the day slowly and spent some time to check out all of the decorations. Very pretty!

I love 50s! I think it ties with Crystal Palace for being the only table service restaurant that I've visited more than two times. It's really funny to see how our touring style has changed in the last few years-we used to be "go, go, go" (or I did at least) and now we're definitely turtle tourists!

I'm in again! Love trips with you and your mom!


Welcome Dee!

Hiya Gretchen! I am frantically trying to catch up on all of the Christmas PTRs I was reading and cross over to the TRs! Happy to have caught up with yours :goodvibes

Iím glad the easy check-in at the airport made up for grandmaís slow driving/bad route. Nice flight, Iím glad that JetBlue worked out so well. And very cool that that terminal drops you so close to the ME area. We used Apple Scooters too (second time weíve used them) and have always been happy with their equipment and service. Sorry they didnít have the scooter there for your mom when you got to the resort.

It wasn't a big deal that the scooter wasn't there because we weren't going anywhere immediately. But we had quite a bit of trouble on day 4 that I'll tell you about!

Front row on ME Ė lucky! Iím still on the fence about the new MK entrance colors, so very used to the old color scheme. Nice decorations in the lobby at WL and cool that Megan was such a good CM in welcoming you both. Interesting that they hide the mini-fridge in the room to keep the lodge theming. I liked the character tiles in the shower.

I think they hide the fridges in all the rooms now to go with the theming-in all the resorts I've stayed at in 2012 (six of them, value to deluxe) the fridge has always been in some sort of cupboard. :confused3

Amazing view, could ask for better than that! :thumbsup2 Your lunch looked great, I love Memphis-style pulled pork sandwiches. Too bad about all the noise when you wanted to grab a nap. And we had the same issue with the in-room WiFi, it was pathetic and same scenario in the public areas :headache:

I remember last January when they first introduced the Wi-Fi, I was at Old Key West was awful. It was better at Coronado Springs in February, and I don't recall having problems at ASMu, ASSp, or POFQ in May. The in park wi-fi was fine though!

Nice that the luggage came so fast and that the scooter showed up before you wanted to leave for a park!

DW uses the scooter and even though she drove one in April of í11 she still did the same thing your mom did the first time she tried loading up on the bus. Slow and steady is the way to go. Love that DHS tree, very festive. I like the scooter beacon as an excuse to get the Mickey head balloon ;)

Sorry you didnít get any pics with you and PB together. That is the downside of being the person operating the camera, very hard to be in many shots. Iím sure after being behind the scenes and riding the rides so often you canít help but get campy with responses to the ride elements. Glad you all enjoyed Fantasmic!

I wish we had spent as much time looking at the Osborne lights as you did. By the time we got over to it we had been at DHS 11hrs straight and the fam was done so we didnít even make it through the whole song cycle. Great pics of the lights Ė love the shot with you at the umbrella!

50s Prime Time is always a good choice to finish off a DHS day, yum! So cool that you had a quick trip back to the resort and that you could see some of the Wishes fireworks! :wizard:

Sleeping in and a great spread for breakfast Ė thatís the way to start a day! Too bad those beds were so hard, hope sleeping a little more after breakfast made up for it. Yay for remembering your memory card before you left the resort. Yikes on losing cell service during the trip :eek:

Nice decorations, I can almost smell the wood and pine. Nice rainbow at the geyser too! Glad you got the cell phone thing settled before you left for MVMCP! Looking forward to hearing more Disney Christmas Adventures! :yay:

Joining in! Yay for staying at the WL! I love all of your pictures. It really is an amazing place at Christmas.

I first heard about the "bear face" right before we were going to stay there and it took me forever to see it!

Welcome Sarah! My mom couldn't find the bear face at first either, but when she found it she thought it was super cool!

01-14-2013, 03:19 PM
We had just boarded the MK bus, and after a stop at Ft. Wilderness, we were soon approaching Magic Kingdom. There were no snafus entering the park using the MVMCP tickets, like there was in 2011 with MNSSHP. We got our wristbands and proceeded back to Liberty Square for dinner, stopping for a few quick pics along the way.

We had a rather lackluster dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, something we probably wouldn't do again.

Then we wandered around the park for a bit. Mom hadn't seen any of new Fantasyland yet, and a lot of it wasn't even done yet when I left Florida in August. Storybook Circus was our first stop, because Mom was almost tempted to ride Dumbo. But she didn't want to ride by herself and we wouldn't have fit in one together. I wanted to meet the characters at the "Sideshow" tent, but the posted waits were much longer than those on the Lines app, so we forewent that as well. I did take this cool shot of the castle through my balloon back there.

Heading into Tomorrowland we decided to do one of our favorite rides, Buzz Lightyear, which had a brief wait. Mom actually beat me! That never happens!

After Buzz we made a bathroom stop and then walked/rolled over to the Hub, because it was almost time for the castle lighting show.

The castle show was corny, but the end result was beautiful!

I believe the next order of business was some shopping on Main Street. I know we went to the Emporium and I got in the *actual line* to buy a MVMCP shirt. I think the line was about 15 minutes. Mom wanted one, but only if it was short sleeved and green. No luck. They only had short sleeved in red, and not in her size anyway. But I got a long sleeved green one! We also picked up some antenna toppers (mine broke already and it's not even on the car) and an activity set for my brother. I wanted a new initial ring because mine had broken a while back, but we couldn't find one. Mom found some other rings instead that I really liked, but they were rather pricey even with my merch discount so we held off for the time being.

When we were done there, I know we stopped at First Aid for an ice pack for Mom, then went into Adventureland. Mom went to get some of the free snacks while I got in the relatively short line to meet Tink and Periwinkle!

01-16-2013, 10:43 PM
So I had walked Mom over to Sunshine Tree Terrace and gotten in line at the Adventureland Veranda to meet Tinker Bell and Periwinkle. I was the first one at the rope in the long queue and it wasn't a very long wait, maybe 20 minutes. Tinker Bell was up first.

Tink was absolutely adorable. She loved my dress and I liked her outfit too. We determined that I had used strawberries to dye my dress, and she wanted to know what would happen if we did the same to hers. I said I think that would just be brown and she was sad at first, but then she decided we could just be festive together!

And then came Periwinkle. I haven't seen Secret of the Wings yet, so I know virtually nothing about her other than she's Tinker Bell's "twin" and she's a winter fairy. I don't really remember what we discussed.

I met back up with Mom, who said the free hot cocoa was pretty good, but the cookies were obviously pre-packaged and pretty blah. We headed over to Fantasyland because I wanted to meet Cinderella and family, but their line was super long. Pooh and Friends were getting some honey, so no go with them either. My feet were really hurting by then (two days of flats=bad idea) so we headed towards Cosmic Ray's. On the way, we ran into Rosemary, another DISer from the December Facebook group and chatted for a few minutes.

Once in Ray's I grabbed a cup of apple juice and we sat out on the terrace for a little bit. The first parade of the evening was happening, but we couldn't see much of it. After my feet had some time to rest, Mom decided she would be able to walk for a bit and I could ride the scooter. We walked back to Liberty Square and were just about to park and get in line for the Haunted Mansion when a cast member said we could take the scooter right into the queue. I went to do so and a massive crowd of people came up and got in line. OK, not happening. We decided Big Thunder would be much of the same, so we walked over towards the Hall of Presidents. Mom wanted to look in the shop, but she almost got run over by another scooter in there. She came back out and we briefly discussed going to Main Street to wait for the fireworks. I don't recall coming to a definite decision, and she said, "I'm going for a walk." At least that's what I heard, anyway. I guess what she really said was, "I'm going to the shops." By the time I could start up the scooter and maneuver out of my spot, she was gone, and I had no idea where she went. So I decided to stay put, thinking that if she just went for a walk she'd come back. But it was getting close to fireworks time and I was worried we'd be separated. And to make things even better, she walked away with NOTHING. I had both cell phones, her wallet, her room key, everything. So I was a bit angry, but Holiday Wishes was starting and that made me happier. I had a pretty good viewing spot too!
(That was during the "O Christmas Tree" part, so they made the castle green!)
(Perfect smiley face, which sometimes happens, sometimes doesn't.)
An absolutely beautiful show! There's a part right at the end that I adore; they sing "And all our Christmas Wishes! will come true!" and when they say
"wishes" it's exactly the same melody that they sing in the normal Wishes. Gives me chills every time I listen to it. And then the song they play afterwards: "Sleigh bells ringing and snow is falling and friends are singing and chestnuts roasting..." If you have any idea what I'm talking about, you are singing it now too. Oh how I wish I were there right now.
If you don't know what I'm talking about, that song is called "Christmas All Around Us" and you can find it in the D-Cot Jukebox. And the above Wishes mention is found at 13:18 at the D-Cot Jukebox recording of Holiday Wishes.

So after the show, I waited some more. I didn't want to go anywhere in case Mom came back. I was just going to stay there for the parade and then figure out where she went. Then I got a call from Hartford, CT. Well, I don't know anyone from there so I let it go to voicemail. It was Mom, saying she was in the Town Square Theater (some nice cast member let her borrow his phone). So I zip down a surprisingly uncrowded Main Street to the theater.
Can't find her. Cell phone rings again, this time from Lake Buena Vista, FL. Mom again. Now she's at City Hall, calling from Guest Relations. We finally reunited after over an hour. She had expected me to follow her to Main Street and then was waiting for me to pop up after a bit. In the meantime she wandered in and out of the shops, occasionally sitting on some of the recessed stairways to the buildings. We were both pretty frustrated. And I was really cold, even with my sweatshirt, like spastically shivering. Although we both really wanted to see the parade (and I later realized I had missed my only chance to see Belle in her Christmas dress) we decided to go back to the hotel. Mom was really sore because I had the scooter that whole time, and it was just kind of a bust. Overall the party experience wasn't the greatest. I used to feel the party price was worth it because you get 8 hours total (almost a full day's time!) of park time for about $20 less than a regular ticket. But when your normal admission is free, $120 for special fireworks doesn't seem like such a great deal anymore.

I would probably do the party again, but dress for the weather-it got much colder than I thought it was going to-and have a better plan to follow. Heading out to the bus stop we did get some free stuff-a lame ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas guide and a car air freshener. That's not too lame, because it smells like spiced hot apple cider and when I have the heat blasting enough my car smells heavenly. The bus pulled up within two minutes of us arriving and soon we were back at the hotel.

01-20-2013, 09:52 PM
The castle is just stunning with those lights. I dream of the time I will be able to be in Disney for Christmas! Tink was really cute in her winter outfit too. I'm sorry you had all the frustration with your mom though. That would've really upset me too.

01-23-2013, 10:33 PM
The castle is just stunning with those lights. I dream of the time I will be able to be in Disney for Christmas! Tink was really cute in her winter outfit too. I'm sorry you had all the frustration with your mom though. That would've really upset me too.

I've always wanted to see the castle lights. I got a tease of them in January 2012 when I went down for my college program. The night before I checked in, my roommate and I went to the Poly beach to watch Wishes, since we didn't have our IDs yet and couldn't go to the parks. But the lights were still up on the 10th and we could see them from a distance! Unfortunately, by the time we were actually able to go into MK on the 13th, they weren't lit anymore. :(

I told Mom her wandering privileges were revoked. I was just beginning to trust her again going off on her own during the Lost Mom Fiasco of 2010, but no more. I know better now, and I need to keep her on a leash!

01-23-2013, 10:53 PM
Wednesday morning brought one of our favorite meals on property-Crystal Palace! We've eaten there once for dinner and twice now for breakfast. We headed to Magic Kingdom around 9:30, again by bus with a very short wait. After we got through bag check, I had some holiday cheer to spread! As a cast member, I was given a holiday admission pass good for me and three people on any one day. Well, it's only me plus one, ever, and I always feel like I'm wasting those other two admissions! So I found a DISer on the Facebook group whose parents were joining them during the vacation. With my admission, they'd be able to get two park days with their family instead of just one. So we met up with them, and they were lovely people. From New York, too! After we all entered the park, they thanked me profusely, I told them they were so welcome, gave them a couple of free popcorn/soft drink coupons, and we went on our merry ways, my heart a lot happier at bringing joy to another family.

On our way up Main Street, Mom wanted to look in the Jewelry store where they sell Dooney & Bourke bags. She's been eying them for almost three years now and has yet to buy one (yes, even with my 40% discount!). I, on the other hand, have two-a white Sketch wristlet and a purple Sketch cross body-and if I could afford them I'd probably own at least one of every design. But Mom thinks they're too expensive and she can never find a purse she's totally satisfied with. It's not even a problem with pattern placement, but no purse has a design that she can live with. If it has a shoulder strap and carrying straps, she thinks that's dumb. You get the gist. So no purchase was made and we headed up Main Street again.

Our ADR was for 10:20am, and we checked in about 10 minutes early. Here's one of the decorations outside.

We were called to our table right on time, and I'm 99% sure it was the exact same table we ate at on our last trip there in 2010! Our server was Monika, and it took her a bit longer than we found acceptable to come get our drink orders. Pooh came around pretty quickly.

Then it was up to the buffet for round one...the ever so boring Pooh's Puffed French Toast and a Mickey Waffle with Strawberry topping!
Boring, but yummy! You can't go wrong with these two items.

Just minutes later, we saw Piglet.

Heigh ho, heigh ho, back up to the buffet I go...
Bagel with cream cheese, bacon, and breakfast potato casserole. Again, very boring. The casserole was super delicious though! I need to see if allears has that recipe.

And a plate of fruit.
As usual, pineapple, grapes, and watermelon were amazing, cantaloupe was decent, and honeydew was just kind of meh. It always seems really mushy to me.

Here comes Tigger!

One last trip to the buffet. It was getting close to lunchtime now, so they shut our side of the line down. We started feeling a little rushed around this point.
A croissant, Southwest Breakfast Pizza, and that interesting glob in the back is Breakfast Lasagna. The croissant was soft and buttery, if not particularly warm. I was surprised by how much I liked the pizza because I normally don't care for eggs, or peppers, or really most of the ingredients on it. But it had a nice little kick to it without being overwhelming. Now, the breakfast lasagna. They had taken this off the menu when we were there in 2010, so I didn't get to try it. I was very excited to see it back now. And it was such a disappointment when I finally tried it. Part of it was overly sweet and part of it had no flavor at all. The whole thing was just mushy and as much as I hate to say it, gross. I managed maybe two bites before I gave up. I really wanted to like it because so many people love it, but I just couldn't.

Our last character of the morning was Eeyore.

This meal was on the dining plan, so no out of pocket expense except for the tip. Once again, we loved our meal here and I recommend this restaurant to everyone consistently! GO if you get the chance!

After breakfast we headed up to the monorail, just missing the one at the station, and waited a few minutes for another one. Then it was over to the Grand Floridian. As we entered the lobby on the upper level, I took this shot, which is pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

We honestly don't even like the Grand Flo-it feels too snobby for us-but the decorations were stunning. I took a bunch of pictures of the gingerbread house (which PB told me he got to help assemble a few years ago!). I loved this window with my favorite princess.
And this one is super cute too.

I really don't understand these birds (swans? geese?) that are everywhere on the tree. I think they're a little bit creepy, but if anyone knows their significance, please let me know!

I love that Minnie dress, but I think mine is a little cuter-and I know mine was A LOT cheaper because it's homemade!

Upstairs we went into M. Mouse Mercantile, thinking they sold Dooneys, but they don't. Guess what I left with instead? That ring from the Emporium the night before. I did find my initial ring at this store, but this one was just calling to me. So it left with me.
I love it and wear it almost everyday.

Back outside we boarded the monorail right before it left the station and went back to MK, where we caught the launch right before it departed as well! Water levels must have been high enough for us to take it that day. Kenny was the cast member doing the docking stuff, and he chatted with us through the whole voyage. He was a current college program kid so we discussed our experiences with that. Soon we were back at the Lodge, where we decided to do, what else? Nap. :rotfl:

01-27-2013, 10:11 PM
What a sweet thing that you did with your free admissions! Disney is the perfect place to spread cheer like that :goodvibes

The decorations at the GF are really gorgeous; that was a great shot of the lobby that you got! And I don't own any Disney dooneys, although I really like a lot of the designs and styles, because they are just too expensive for me!

02-26-2013, 11:08 PM
Sorry readers, I didn't mean to abandon you! I moved a few weeks ago and I've been busy with school and my new job, but I think I have time for a quick update.

So after our nap, we headed out toward Animal Kingdom. The bus arrived within two minutes of us getting to the stop. Pretty sure we stopped at the Ft. and then the driver took the most circuitous route possible to the park. Literally, we circled half the property. :confused3

Upon getting to the park, we headed for the two open turnstiles. Now, people never seem to realize that there are generally two turnstiles open right next to each other, and instead of forming two lines, they form a clump. As we got closer to the turnstiles, I could see this was the case. There was one family ahead of us, and they deviated to the left turnstile. I waited a few moments to see if any of them were going to use the right one, and they didn't, so I stepped up to it. Of course, at that moment, the 9-ish daughter stepped over. I indicated she should go first, but she told me I could. So I did, and then her mother yelled at her. Told her she shouldn't let other people in front of her and she could now go to the back of the line, she wasn't dealing with that today. Absolutely ridiculous.

Moving on, we decided to try and get a spot for the parade. Unfortunately, we had cut it a little too close and no spots were open, even in the handicapped areas. So we decided to go get some lunch over at Flame Tree and try to see the parade from there.

Our lunch choice was the BBQ Sandwich (delicious as always) and the chocolate mousse (just okay).

Thankfully, our plan did work out and we were able to see the floats from our table.

Truthfully, I was a little disappointed. It's the same parade that's there everyday, just with some decorations added and some of the lyrics changed. While I do enjoy the normal parade, I was expecting something different.

We headed back to the Safari, along with basically everyone else in the park, but the line still wasn't very long. We were directed over to the wheelchair loading dock, and our truck was soon on the way. Cheryl was our driver and she was awesome, just slightly sarcastic, which was great because there weren't a lot of animals out at that point.

This is probably an Okapi.
I think this is a Water Buck.
I've kind of watched these elephants grow up over the last year.

Something new: I actually got some decent cheetah pictures!

And here goes Mr. Lion running down into his cave, and then he roared and his friends roared back. It was awesome!

It was just after 5 by the time we got off the truck, and we had dinner ressies at Ft. Wilderness at 6:05. Uh oh! I don't know how the time had gotten away from us! So we hustled as best we could to the bus, stopping (or probably taken on the run, actually) for a picture of the AK tree.

A bus pulled up right as we got to the stop, and once we loaded (after the other passengers, because they were there first and the driver didn't see us in time), the bus proceeded to sit there for another ten minutes, which was super frustrating. I was texting PB to see if he could get them to hold the table for us, and eventually we were on our way, but would we make it in time?

04-08-2013, 03:45 PM
Hey Gretchen!

I somehow didnít make it back to your TR, darned RL! Iím here now and picking up with your entry for MVMCP:

Yay for not having issues getting in with your tickets Ė you were doing it the right way with a leisurely beginning of the day and dinner at MK before the party starts! Sorry the dinner wasnít a good one for you.

Cool shot of the castle through the balloon. Yay for seeing the castle lighting! :santa:

Sounds like the shopping was fruitful.

Iím glad the Tink interaction was so good. I agree on the cookies, they sucked. Cool that you had that random DISMeet!

Sorry your mom left you in Liberty Square, but at least you had a good spot for Wishes.

Our MVMCP was pretty much a bust too so donít feel bad Ė no parades for us or character interactions at all Öand we missed Wishes. I agree having a clear plan together would make all the difference.

Yay for being able to help that DIS family and getting their parents admission! :)

CP looked like a lot of fun with great food and characters, good choice.

Nice shot of the GF lobby Ė cool Mickey ring.

Sorry you didnít get to AK in time for spots for the parade, good call getting those yummy BBQ sandwiches at Flame Tree and still having a decent view of the parade from there! Much better to sit and eat and watch anyways. As far as the parade itself we skipped it as we had heard the exact comment you spoke of, same parade with some decorations and the characters in holiday costumes.

So cool that you got cheetah pics (although for some reason they didnít show up in my browser) and that the Lion roared on the safari! :thumbsup2

I hope you swing back around to continue the TR, Iím really enjoying it and I'm sure there's some silent readers out there too who want to see how it all goes :goodvibes

04-10-2013, 12:08 AM
Well, as long as no one minds that it's April and I'm still talking about Christmas festivities, I guess there's no harm in continuing.

So when we parted a month and a half ago, we had just left Animal Kingdom and were headed for Ft. Wilderness. We were cutting it very close on time and weren't sure if we could make the reservation. The bus had finally pulled out of AK and it's first stop was the Lodge. Then it continued on to the Fort, finally! We departed at the Outpost Depot and then had to switch to another bus to get us to the Settlement. I remember the Yellow bus coming first, so I'm assuming that's what we got on because I knew all three buses would get us to the same place eventually. We loaded up Mom and were on our way. I think we just made it, and PB had been able to check us in and hold the table. Yay for my twinsie!

I don't have any pictures of the meal. I think we were just so hungry I forgot! But I've eaten there before and if you're really curious there are pictures in my "Four Months of Disney Dining". It was just okay. Service was average at best and food was below average. Best things were the mac 'n cheese, cornbread, red velvet cake, and ice cream.

After dinner, we took a little stroll/roll around the nearby campsites to look at the decorations. The pictures aren't the greatest, but you get the gist.
Amazing! Most of these were decked out better than houses in my neighborhood!

As we wandered back towards the boat dock to catch a ride to MK, I wanted to take a picture of the Fort tree. The camera wasn't on my wrist or in my pocket. I asked if anyone else had it. Nope, Mom suggested it was in the bag and while I didn't find it, I wasn't too concerned because the bag was pretty full, items were shifting, and I didn't want to empty it out. Anyway, I had my phone (every picture from here on out was taken using it)!

The wait for the boat was a bit long. When one arrived, a mother and little girl around 4 years old walked by us as they were getting off. The little girl was adorable, in a Cinderella dress, wearing glasses, and she had a light up Mickey face around her neck. And her mother said, "Why did we let you buy that thing? You look absolutely ridiculous!" My heart broke a little bit for the girl. :( Everyone in line that heard it said something.

We made it onto the boat and soon we were back at MK. Mom and PB decided they would ride Buzz Lightyear and I would be the FP runner for Journey of the Little Mermaid. I made it all the way back to New Fantasyland, searching for the FP machines, only to be told they are over at PhilharMagic!

I ran back to meet them at the exit of Buzz, and in the meantime I got an e-mail from my apartment complex telling me where I would be living when I moved in in February, so that was pretty exciting. We wandered back to New Fantasyland again, took a bathroom break, PB stopped at Gaston's for Le Fou's Brew, which I thought was a bit gross, and then it was time for our FPs to be used!

We waited exactly six minutes before we were on the ride. PB had ridden it before and was raving about it. I managed to get some no flash pictures.
I enjoyed it, but didn't absolutely adore it as PB does.

04-10-2013, 12:30 AM
There was about 15 minutes left before "Celebrate the Magic!" and Wishes, so we walked around the castle to get a spot for that.
We were kind of under one of those coverings around the hub, so our spot wasn't great, but not terrible either. I hadn't seen Celebrate the Magic in person yet, but watched videos on YouTube, and my jaw was on the floor the whole time! I adored Magic, Memories, and You, so I was interested to see how this would stack up.
(I'm pretty sure that's the Floating Lanterns)
Absolutely amazing! I can't wait to go see it again next month!

04-10-2013, 12:40 AM
And then it was time for WISHES!
(I think that's my second favorite picture of the trip!)
(Darn finger!)

04-10-2013, 12:41 AM

When it was over and I was looking through the photos, I was slightly disheartened to realize that my iPhone takes better nighttime/fireworks pics than my Nikon point & shoot!

PB and I decided we wanted to go ride Big Thunder and Mom started her journey towards the train station, where the wheelchair viewing is for the Parade.

We rode, little wait, and it was super fun, as always. Probably my favorite ride at MK. Mom was texting me and she was so upset. My mother does not cry, and she was almost in tears of frustration when we met up with her. People were purposely cutting her off repeatedly with their stroller as she's trying to make her way up Main Street. I think she may have nudged one of the most annoying ones in her frustration, and that made him mad. She now does a ridiculous impression of a guy with a hispanic accent going, "Ay lady, you need to learn how to drive that wheelchair. When you run someone over you say sorry!" I told her we didn't have to stay for the parade, but she said it was fine.

Pretty soon it started, and I was aghast at what was happening. People were being total idiots, running across the street to the exit WHILE THERE WERE FLOATS COMING! Oh my God, it was ridiculous. People have literally died that way! Those floats can't stop suddenly and they don't care what's in their path. There was one lone cast member stationed in the area and she was trying to keep them from doing it, but as soon as one had been lectured, another group in a different area would go.

Anyway, the parade.
(I had been trying to get a shot of that gosh darn frog's lit up tongue for MONTHS and I finally succeeded!)
And then my phone died so no more pictures for now. Mom didn't care for MSEP. She much prefers SpectroMagic (and truthfully, so do I, but MSEP has grown on me). I was trying to figure out why, because the floats and concept are almost exactly the same, but it's the music. The spectro soundtrack is so regal, and this one is just hokey. It's the same parade that was there before I was born, and she just thought it was obnoxious.

Well that day kind of fizzled out. We said good bye to PB and headed to a bus to get us back to the Lodge. Very short wait once again. When we got back to the room, emptied out the bag, and still couldn't find the camera, I started to panic. Mom may have gone down to the desk to have them call Ft. Wilderness, but maybe that was the next day. We headed to bed quite exhausted!

04-14-2013, 10:09 PM
Wow, the decorations around Fort Wilderness are really good! And I love the Little Mermaid ride, I was very impressed with it. Just a pleasant, feel good ride I think. So many of your castle and Wishes pictures are great!

04-21-2013, 10:46 PM
Wow, the decorations around Fort Wilderness are really good! And I love the Little Mermaid ride, I was very impressed with it. Just a pleasant, feel good ride I think. So many of your castle and Wishes pictures are great!

Thanks! One of my friends said the other day that he doesn't like the camera on the iPhone 4S (which is what we both have) and I was like, "What are you talking about?! This thing takes better pictures of certain things than my actual camera!"

04-21-2013, 10:52 PM
Thursday was our last full day in the parks. It looks like I went down to Roaring Forks to get breakfast around 9:30. Mom was boring and got pancakes again, but I switched it up a bit and got the Chocolate Loverís Waffles.

According to my review on Allears, we headed to the bus stop around 10:15 and there was no wait once again. Iím trying to figure out the time frame because I have a picture of the Epcot Main Entrance decorations an hour later. But I guess between the bus ride, the bag check (which always seems to take forever only at Epcot), and the line to use my Main Entrance Pass to enter the park, it was probably about an hour.

I told Mom to head over to Test Track and I ran to Soariní to get Fastpasses. These gingerbread houses were on display in The Land.

Heading back towards Test Track, Mom was nowhere to be found. Now, weíve been to Epcot at least eight times in the last three years. I was positive she wouldnít get lost. I just never learn, I guess. Eventually she made it over there and we headed for the single rider line, which was about 20 minutes (or so it said). I donít remember if we didnít have the option to ďdesignĒ our car or if we just chose to skip it, but we did not participate in that. This picture is of (I think) a gas model and a turbo engine.

For what may have been the first time ever, Mom and I were not in the same car using the singles line, probably because she was in the scooter and the CMs escorted her to the front. I ADORED the new makeover. Felt a lot cooler and seemed faster. Hereís a pretty terrible red neck ride photo.

It was about 15 minutes before our ADR at Chefs de France by this point, so we made our way back there. The scooter was going veeeeerrrrry slowly. I donít know if it had been charged the night before, but there was a full battery indicator when we headed out in the morning. Now, it was almost empty. We made it back to France and were seated almost immediately. Iím pretty sure the table we were at was the exact same one I was seated at when I dined there in March, with a lovely view of the promenade. This was hands down our best meal of the trip. Our server Brice was absolutely amazing! Since this was a Candlelight Processional package, we were able to order appetizers. I chose the French Onion Soup and Mom went with the Lobster Bisque. They were both delicious.

For the entrťe, I decided on the Baked Mac Ďní Cheese and Mom ordered the Quiche. As I had found before, she thought the dressing was too strong.

And finally for the dessert, I went with the standby of Profiteroles and Mom asked for the Strawberry Cream Cake. She adored it, as it was light and not too sweet.

Heading out after lunch, the scooter went slower and slower. We made it up to the World Showcase Plaza and had to park the scooter to take a side trip to First Aid for an ice pack for Momís back. I did get a picture of the Epcot tree.

We came back to the scooter and it died as we were going up to the front of the park. Just died. So I tried pushing it, while Mom was still in it, mind you. Approaching the Fountain of Nations a nice couple on their honeymoon offered to help us get it up front, which I declined. However, I did give them our Soariní FPs as thanks, since I knew we wouldnít be back in time to ride. Slowly, slowly, slowly we made it out of the park and over to the bus stop. Of course, the bus departed as we were inching our way over to it, but thankfully another one came around in about 10 minutes. Back at the hotel, a nice man from Alabama (I think, maybe it was Louisiana) helped push us from the bus stop to the elevator. I offered him a coupon for a free popcorn or soft drink, but he said his family was on the dining plan and they had more than enough food already! The people who offered to help us throughout the day helped restore Momís faith in humanity, after encountering the not so nice people the evening before. We plugged in the scooter and napped for a while, making a decision about the Candlelight Processional.

05-02-2013, 10:16 AM
Mmm, your meal at Chefs de France does look good! Both the desserts look tasty - though when we were there we had the creme brulee and it was absolutely amazing. I don't think we'll ever be able to order anything else because even though it was a year and a half ago, my husband still talks about that dessert all the time!

06-22-2013, 12:48 AM
I am bound and determined to finish this TR tonight!

When I left off, our scooter had died, and we were returning to the hotel to recharge, both the scooter and ourselves. Our CP package was for the 5pm show, but it was already a little after 2pm when we left Epcot. We decided to skip the 5:15 show and just try the standby line for a later one.

Going back to Epcot in the evening, we arrived just after 6pm. We headed over to the Land for some food, and I took some pictures of the fiber optic sidewalks along the way.


I think we split a Pizza Panini from Sunshine Seasons, which was just okay, and shared this cheesecake.

Then we made a stop at first aid so Mom could get another ice pack for her back and I could get one for my shin, because my shin splints were acting up.

Heading over to the America Gardens Theater, we decided to explain the situation to the cast members and see if they would be willing to accommodate us at the 8:15 show. We spoke to George and his coordinator Gail, who were so helpful and generous by honoring our package tickets. There was a grumpy guest at the front of the handicapped line who was muttering and scolding us for talking to the cast members, telling us to go to the back of the line like everyone else. After speaking to Gail, we were escorted to the back of the handicapped line; after all, we had no intention of skipping the line in general, just wanting to see if we could avoid the standby line, which we did. And we ended up getting better seats than the grumpy lady, in my opinion!


The pictures aren't amazing, but the show itself was! If I would have still been working there full time and not back in New York, I absolutely would have been in the cast member choir. (I don't think an actual audition is required for it, just that you can attend practices.)
That is the ASL interpreter, who was really cool to watch.

Trace Adkins was our narrator, and Mom thought he had the perfect voice for it. Again, if I had been living there, I would have chosen some other narrators to see as well (Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopie, and Marlee Matlin).

The only downside was that I was sitting next to a family with a young daughter, probably 4 years old, who did not want to be there, and was just kicking and whining and crying through almost the whole show.

After it ended, we decided not to fight the crowds at the "VIP Viewing Spot" for IllumiNations and chose a random spot in Germany instead.

As usual, I took a billion pictures (104 to be exact) but I'll narrow it down to the best ones.
https://picasaweb.google.com/110287399309013339244/December202012?authkey=Gv1sRgCL6j4qrcj_YL#58248778 46857123458

We could also see some of Holiday Wishes!

06-22-2013, 12:58 AM
Then came the "Let There Be Peace on Earth" tag, which I really enjoyed.

Mom really liked it too, said it was not what she was expecting at all. I think she was thinking it would be Christmas-y, like Holiday Wishes, and not a "peace and unity" theme.

During the show, it had been sprinkling a bit, but right as it ended, the rain came down and it was pouring. We headed for the exit with the other tens of thousand of guests in the park, and as we were walking I heard some familiar voices. It was my friend Emily and some of my other co-workers that I had met during my college program! Hugs were exchanged and some catching up was done while we kept heading up front. :grouphug: It was so nice to see them again!

Got a shot of the tree on the way out as well.

We made it back to the bus stop. Only two minutes of waiting and a bus was there; all three scooters that were waiting were able to board, and we had some more good samaritans that helped us as the scooter was starting to die again. :sad1: Back at Wilderness Lodge, we did some packing and headed to bed for our last night.

06-22-2013, 01:15 AM
On our last day, we were supposed to wake up at 8 in order to make a breakfast ADR at Olivia's over at Old Key West. Well, we decided we liked sleep a little more, and made a different reservation for a few hours later at Whispering Canyon. We finished our packing, checked our bags with bell services (which we had to go outside to do) and were waiting for our beeper to go off at the restaurant by 11.


Kristen and Ellen were our servers and they were fun without being over the top.

I chose the Buttermilk pancakes with bacon, which were delicious, and mom ordered the Belgian Waffle with maple butter and candied pecan topping. She loved the entree, said it was light and fluffy, but she didn't care for the bacon-thought it had too much of a smokey flavor.

We sang happy birthday to one table, and although there were a couple of calls for ketchup, no one seemed to answer them. I don't know if the other guests just didn't care about the antics, or like us, didn't have any ketchup to offer.

After breakfast we boarded a bus to Downtown Disney. It came almost immediately, which was absolutely shocking!

Disney Days of Christmas was our first stop, and Mom ended up purchasing a door decoration.

We also stopped in at World of Disney and Goofy's Candy Co. (of course!).

I went into Earl of Sandwich to get us lunch and we took it back to the resort to enjoy. Waiting for the bus, it only took 5-10 minutes. :cheer2:

We went up to the seating area overlooking Bay Lake to eat. It was very peaceful and we had a great view.

My sandwich choice was something new for me, the All American. (I suspect Mom got the Original 1762, which we've had many times before, since I don't have a picture.)

I also chose a peppermint brownie for dessert.


Then it was time to go return the scooter, grab our carry ons from Bell Services, and wait for Magical Express. :sad1: The pick up time was 4pm. The bus arrived at 3:55pm, and the driver seemed confused because that wasn't our pick p time but he let us on anyway-there were only two other people on the bus, so it definitely wasn't a space issue. We also stopped at the Poly and GF again before heading back to the airport. We were dropped off first, security wasn't bad, and we had plenty of time to get to the gate. In fact, we spent a lot of time at the gate, as the plane had just done an international flight or something so was being cleaned up and we were delayed a bit. Nobody was telling us anything though; but the crew was waiting to board and all the guests were starting to line up because it was close to departure time. Finally we were able to board, the flight home was uneventful, and our bags were waiting for us at the airport!

Another great trip!

06-24-2013, 01:55 PM
Always sad when a trip ends, but I'm glad it was a good one!