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View Full Version : Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?! Dec 10 - 15, 2012 (COMPLETE)


geckodani
01-08-2013, 08:27 AM
Hello, and welcome to my first trip report. Our trip took place on December 10 15, 2012. I didn't take notes, so I don't have every single move we made committed to memory, but it was a fantastically fun trip, and I'll share what I can!

The cast of characters includes me (30) and my adorable Mom (older than 30).

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1949.jpg

This trip was massively nostalgic for both of us, as I grew up in Anaheim, CA and spent much of my childhood at Disneyland. It almost got cancelled a handful of times, so it didn't really feel real until we were THERE! So, without further ado, I present, Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?!

Day One: Arrival

On December 10 we kissed our husbands good bye (after making sure we filled their food dishes and stocked the beer ;)) and headed off for a 12:00 flight to Orlando! The weather forecast looked positively dismal, but we decided to just go with the flow and have a blast.

Our flight was uneventful, and we both lucked out with empty seats next to us (we were both on the aisles) and before we knew it we had arrived at MCO (landed around 2:45)! We walked down to the DME only to have just barely missed the last bus heading to POFQ ...

But wait! A little pixie dust was heading our way as a cast member came over and told us, "Don't get too comfortable they have room on the bus for you!" So after only about 30 seconds in the queue we were on the bus and on our way!

We then proceeded to attempt several self-portraits, most of which ended up with our heads cut off. This one turned out the best:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121210_152249.jpg

It's funny, I had never really realized that I have my Mom's eyes until looking at this picture!

We got to POFQ after a few stops at other resorts, and were quickly through the online check in line and settled into room 1142! My only request had been to be on the ground floor, and we were very happy with our room. Even though it was technically in one of the farther buildings, POFQ is so compact that it wasn't a bad walk at all.

After a quick cheese steak sandwich at the food court (yum) we headed off to the Magic Kingdom! The plan for the night was to see the Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic, watch Wishes and ride the Haunted Mansion at least once.

A MK bus pulled up almost immediately (we had incredible luck with the buses on this trip) and we were off! But wait - were those storm clouds in the distance?


Day One: Arrival (see above)
Day One: Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!? (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47120864&postcount=3)
Day Two: Does Goofy Like French Toast? (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47135011&postcount=9)
Day Two: Stay Away Clouds! (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47207389&postcount=10)
Day Three: Where the heck is Bus Stop 32?!?! (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47221124&postcount=17)
Day Four: Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming. (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47228418&postcount=20)
Day Four: Pillowworks! (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47261181&postcount=21)
Day Five: Look Out It's Pooh Bear! (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47273306&postcount=22)
Day Five and Departure: Feliz Navidad! (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47279807&postcount=23)
A Few Final Thoughts (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47783359&postcount=28)
A Review of Fast Pass+ (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48007636&postcount=30)

SAT887
01-08-2013, 08:32 AM
Joining in!!

geckodani
01-08-2013, 08:57 AM
Day One: Is this Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain?!?

After arriving at the MK, attempting not to cry at the very sight of it, and getting through bag check, we were headed down Main Street! Now, it was about 80 degrees, and the air was so thick you could chew it. This was really our only chance to see MSEP and Wishes, and I was eyeing those dark clouds with something akin to despair. MK was PACKED, so after browsing the Emporium for a few minutes we staked out a spot on Main Street to wait for the parade.

Normally I'd have parked it in Frontier Land, but since we also wanted to watch the Celebrate the Magic and Wishes, we wanted to be on Main Street. We didn't manage a curb side seat, but we were only behind one family so it wasn't too bad. We waited for about an hour, playing the keep people from slowly moving in on our spot game, all the while those clouds were moving closer and closer!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121210_190418.jpg

I had a pack of 15 glow bracelets with me, and had some fun handing them out to kids of all ages, including the elderly couple sitting next to us. They may have been the most surprised glow bracelet recipients of the entire trip!

A raindrop fell, and then another, but it wasn't enough to keep MSEP from running!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1910.jpg

As the parade wore on the rain picked up a bit, so we dodged to some limited shelter under the information awning while we waited anxiously for Celebrate the Magic and to see if Wishes would run. And it did! By this time it was raining in earnest, and we were hiding under a vinyl table cloth I'd brought to sit on if needed.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1914.jpg

My mom had never seen the castle projection show, and she was absolutely WOWed. And then the fireworks started. And so did the happy tears. We were standing there, me behind my mom (she's wee, so I could see over her head) and we were sort of half hugging and laughing. And apparently we were such a pretty picture that the woman behind us came up and gave us both a huge hug and told us that she was touched by how close we seemed, and that she missed her own daughter. It was a rather special moment. :cloud9:

Wishes was through, we were thoroughly soaked, but rather than be discouraged we decided that a little rain wouldn't kill us (it was warm, so not too bad) and we soldiered on to the Haunted Mansion!!!

I love this ride. I rode it five times this trip. The first two were on our first night, one right after the other. :woohoo: One unforeseen complication for the trip was the fact that my Mom had foot surgery a few years ago, and her ankle doesn't work quite as it should (they had to rearrange some tendons). So she had a bit of a hard time getting on and off some of the rides. I just made sure that I would be unloaded first, and handed her out of the cars and that worked out just fine. Haunted Mansion was one of the harder ones to disembark though, with the shaking doom buggy and moving walkway, but she was game and we had a great time with the Grim Grinning Ghosts!

After Haunted Mansion we decided that Thunder Mountain in the rain would be fun. Why not, right?

... well, about 5 seconds after the train took off we began to wonder if we were on Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain! Fast moving roller coaster + rain = fast moving rain pelting you in the face! :duck:

We couldn't see a thing because it was dark, and the rain was needling us in the face, and Mom's glasses aren't equipped with windshield wipers. Every time we'd go over a bump or a turn she would slide into me, we were getting soaked - and I don't think I have ever heard my mother laugh so hard, ever. It was hilarious, and wet, and I'll never forget it.

So, now thoroughly soaked, and still laughing hysterically, we decided to go ahead and ride Splash Mountain. I mean, we were already soaked, so why not? Well, unbeknownst to us, they don't run Splash during EMH. So we were unable to ride. :(

Slightly bummed, and very wet, we took a quick ride on POTC, and then decided that we were wet, and tired, and happy, and done for the night. We had purchased ponchos (PSA, ponchos over already wet skin don't really help you much) and slogged our laughing way back to French Quarter!

geckodani
01-08-2013, 08:59 AM
Joining in!!

Yay! Welcome to my insanity.

1stvisit0909
01-08-2013, 09:23 AM
IM IN! :goodvibes

Did y'all love POFQ as much as we did? I found it a very peaceful, beautiful resort (still with plenty to do) but a nice respite from the stimulation of the parks. :goodvibes

geckodani
01-08-2013, 09:40 AM
IM IN! :goodvibes

Did y'all love POFQ as much as we did? I found it a very peaceful, beautiful resort (still with plenty to do) but a nice respite from the stimulation of the parks. :goodvibes

I really did love POFQ. I stayed at CSR last year, and liked POFQ much better. Except for the beds - the CSR beds were more comfy IMO. It's really lovely, and I loved that it was so compact. Food court was great, and we had amazing bus service too!

1stvisit0909
01-08-2013, 11:26 AM
I really did love POFQ. I stayed at CSR last year, and liked POFQ much better. Except for the beds - the CSR beds were more comfy IMO. It's really lovely, and I loved that it was so compact. Food court was great, and we had amazing bus service too!

I noticed the beds were hard - but not until about day 4. haha

I thought the bus service was phenomenal, we only shared with POR 3x, mid day our week. 15 mins to the park? fab!

geckodani
01-08-2013, 01:23 PM
I noticed the beds were hard - but not until about day 4. haha

I thought the bus service was phenomenal, we only shared with POR 3x, mid day our week. 15 mins to the park? fab!

Heh, I was the opposite. I noticed on night 1, and by night 4 didn't care!

geckodani
01-09-2013, 01:00 PM
Day Two: Does Goofy Like French Toast?

One of the things that made this trip extra special was that my friend R, that I've known for what seems like a bajillion years but never met in person was going to be at WDW at the same time we were! We'd made arrangements to meet for breakfast at Chef Mickey's, and I was wicked excited about it.

For some unfathomable reason Mom and I woke up at like 6:45, and our reservation wasn't until 9:20. So we decided to check out the shops and decorations at the Contemporary resort before our ADR.

When 900 years old your scarf is, look this good he will not!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1918.jpg

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1919.jpg

After perusing the shops and checking out the gingerbread tree, it was time for our ADR and I finally got to meet and hug this woman!!!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1920.jpg

Now R was traveling with her family, including her 2 year old W. Her two older children are adorable and full of energy, but W treated me to one of the funniest, and most classic moments of all time when Goofy came around.

Goofy came up behind W, and this happened:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/60814_4556882152849_630978670_n_zpsb8d3bb45.jpg

If you can't see clearly, that's W feeding Goofy a piece of french toast. As in, placing it directly into his mouth. I about DIED laughing, and it still makes me smile. Goofy came back over on his way out, and W tried it again. He also tried to feed Pluto, which was equally entertaining. I think he found the key to Goofy's heart, as he was the recipient of numerous visits and multiple hugs as a result!

Breakfast was great. The buffet was awesome, and we had a blast visiting with R and her family!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1929.jpg

Before we knew it, breakfast was over and it was time to hop on the monorail and back over to the Magic Kingdom!

geckodani
01-16-2013, 09:36 AM
Day Two: Stay Away Clouds!

I'm not sure anyone's reading, but just for the sake of posterity I will continue on! ::yes::

After hugging R and her family Mom and I hopped on the monorail and rode the loop around to the Magic Kingdom!!!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1936.jpg

Look at those dark clouds looming... I kept giving them the stink eye and luckily they stayed away from us! It was hot, and humid, and we loved it. After dropping my mom's meds off at First Aid (she's diabetic and takes meds that have to be refrigerated) we headed down Main Street USA!

I can't remember the exact order we did things in this day, but I know we went first to New Fantasyland and rode the new Little Mermaid Ride (super cute!), spent some time with Pooh bear on his ride, and rode It's A Small World. I have a love/creeped out relationship with IASW. The dolls are.... creepy.

Now, we were determined to get a picture in front of, if not on the Carousel, since one of my favorite pics from my childhood is of me and my mother on the Carousel at Disneyland:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/Carousel1986-1.jpg

We asked a gentleman nearby to take our pic, and this is what we got:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1934.jpg

Not too shabby, eh? I love that we are both laughing. :goodvibes

After snagging our Carousel pic, we decided to go make ourselves sick on the Tea Cups. :tilt: No, really, we did make ourselves sick. We both gave it all we had, got that cup spinning at a ridiculous rate, and while we were laughing, we got off so dizzy that it was time to take a break!

We headed over to Columbia Harbor House for some lunch (Lobster Roll, Mmmmm) and a break from the heat before heading back to my favorite, Haunted Mansion.

After a spin with the grim grinning ghosts, we tried to ride Thunder Mountain but it was closed. :worried: We decided against Splash Mountain as we'd had enough of being wet the night before. :rotfl: Oh well, nothing could keep us down! A spin on POTC and the Jungle Cruise cheered us right up!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1940.jpg

After Jungle Cruise we sang with the birds at the Enchanted Tiki Room. There was a little girl sitting next to us that attached herself to me during the show (so cute :goodvibes) when the tiki statues started their spiel. She was worried that a "bad guy" was coming and I had to reassure her that it was all okay. So sweet.

After looking longingly at the Dole Whips (stupid adult onset pineapple allergy!) we strolled over to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz, Space Mountain and check out the Laugh Floor! Space Mountain was a LOT rougher than I remember, but Mom adored the Laugh Floor and kept trying to figure out how they made the magic happen.

The park was closing early for MVMCP, and we had a 7:00 Kona ADR, so we strolled back to first aid, got my mom's meds and headed over to Kona for a DELICIOUS meal.

After stuffing our faces at Kona (no pineapple bread for me, le sigh) we took the monorail over to the TTC to watch Holiday Wishes. The view from the dock was decent, although I wish the lights weren't so bright. Having the music piped in was lovely though. We caught the tail end of the Electric Water Pageant as well, and then caught a taxi back to POFQ.

When we got back to our room we were greeted by a few new faces.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/60893_10151564340414745_1047898438_n.jpg

After bidding them good night, we headed off to dream land!

wiigirl
01-16-2013, 09:56 AM
I am in....great TR! :)

geckodani
01-16-2013, 10:29 AM
I am in....great TR! :)

Yay! Welcome to my insanity! :lmao:

rdkeim
01-16-2013, 11:02 AM
Enjoying following along with your trip! Your Mom sounds awesome - such a sport!

geckodani
01-16-2013, 12:05 PM
Enjoying following along with your trip! Your Mom sounds awesome - such a sport!

She is a FANTASTIC sport. She's my favorite traveling companion, LOL! We don't get on each other's nerves and just have a blast. Even in the rain. ;) Thanks for following along!

celeste.
01-16-2013, 12:51 PM
Joining in! Great report so far. POFQ is a beautiful resort, I just got back from a trip at Riverside, but we stayed at POFQ last year.
Can't wait for more updates!! popcorn::

geckodani
01-16-2013, 02:52 PM
Joining in! Great report so far. POFQ is a beautiful resort, I just got back from a trip at Riverside, but we stayed at POFQ last year.
Can't wait for more updates!! popcorn::

Thanks for joining! I just got my photopass photos, so I'll post more soon!

geckodani
01-17-2013, 01:49 PM
Day Three: Where the heck is Bus Stop 32?!?!

So. Day three dawned... wet. Very wet. Big threatening clouds and thunderstorms in the forecast wet. :sad2:

But I had a plan! We were supposed to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning and hit up HS at night. Instead, we were going to start the day at Epcot and dodge from the Land to the Sea etc. during the rain and then head over later to HS to use the oh so amazingly awesome FP+ spots I had for TSMM and ToT!

So we got up around 8:00, enjoyed breakfast at the food court (anyone else totally creeped out by the floats at Sassalouga Floatworks?)
...

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/27907_10151565010959745_926867120_n.jpg

... and then hopped on a bus to Epcot!

Our driver was HILARIOUS. He had this whole spiel going that lasted right until we got to the gates.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1942.jpg

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1944.jpg

We actually had really good luck dodging the rain this day, with one notable exception...

We wandered over to the Land Pavilion, got FPs for Soarin, and rode Living With the Land. Waited for a break in the rain and then dodged over to Captain Eo and a little journey with Figment. Fun fact; my mom and I still know EO by heart from when I was a kid in California. :lmao: It rained again while we were playing with our Imaginations. After a quick stop for some candied almonds (LOVE) we went back to the Land to ride my mom's favorite, Soarin!

I'm sorry to say that the damage visible on the film put a bit of a damper on the ride. :sad1: It's very distracting to see the ripped/dirty film. We still enjoyed it though!

I'm a little fuzzy on the rest of the day, but I know we waited out some more rain by having lunch at Sunshine Seasons before running over to The Sea to hang with Nemo and the other aquatic critters. Turtle Talk with Crush was amazing.

Funny moment; as soon as Crush "crashed" into the glass, a little girl sitting up front stood up, screamed No-o-o-o-o-o-!!!! and ran back down the aisle to her folks. Cute and sad at the same time, LOL!

We tried to ride Test Track but it was down, so we rode Spaceship Earth and then it was time to head to HS! And then... this happened.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190278.jpg

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1945.jpg

Oh well, it was just a little rain. Make that a torrential downpour of rain. We soldiered on to the bus stop. The signs said that the HS bus was at bus stop 32 (might have been 36, I can't remember to be honest). We followed the signs, in the pouring rain of course, and could not find it anywhere. We looked, and looked, and finally a CM pointed us to the MIDDLE OF THE PARKING LOT. :mad: No visible sign except one painted on the ground, and that we couldn't see due to the rain. Le sigh.

Well, no harm done, off to HS!

We walked right on over to TSMM (we missed our Star Tours FP+ time, but no biggie) waved our magic FP+ in front of the green Mickey Heads, and then walked right on!

Mom was more accurate, but I made up for it in sheer volume:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121212_171813.jpg

After TSMM we wandered over to Star Tours before going to our 6:00 Sci-Fi Dine in ADR! This was the ONLY thing my mom requested to do while we were here, and it was a lot of fun! I had the shrimp pasta, which unfortunately dribbled butter all over my shirt that I still haven't been able to remove, so there's only one more pic from this night:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121212_184739.jpg

After dinner we took a quick walk through the Osbourne Lights (we'd be back later in the week). It was REALLY crowded, so after watching the lights jam to Feliz Navidad we hightailed it over to ToT just in time for an end of the night ride using our FP+!

We had a brief wait for a bus (we had really good luck with buses this trip!) and then headed back to POFQ for some hot chocolate and bed time!

ksromack
01-17-2013, 08:25 PM
Day Three: Where the heck is Bus Stop 32?!?!
But I had a plan! We were supposed to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning and hit up HS at night. Instead, we were going to start the day at Epcot and dodge from the Land to the Sea etc. during the rain and then head over later to HS to use the oh so amazingly awesome FP+ spots I had for TSMM and ToT!

So we got up around 8:00, enjoyed breakfast at the food court (anyone else totally creeped out by the floats at Sassalouga Floatworks?)
...
We actually slept in for just a bit this same morning.....it seems we had the same park plan for the morning.....and I've heard so many people talking that they didn't get rained on once.....and they were there the same times we were.....I keep wondering, where were these people when we were getting wet? I counted at least 3 different days/times where I had to break out the rain poncho. I suppose this isn't so bad, though! Anyway, getting back to your question....YES! I am totally creeped out by that food court. We stayed at POR and I like that food court much better. We didn't eat there once this trip but walked through it nearly every evening on our way from the south bus stop to our room.

Our driver was HILARIOUS. He had this whole spiel going that lasted right until we got to the gates.
So I have to wonder if this was the same bus driver we had one evening coming back from one of the parks. He was the usual bus driver from POFQ. He was hilarious! I wish I could remember his name!


We wandered over to the Land Pavilion, got FPs for Soarin, and rode Living With the Land. Waited for a break in the rain and then dodged over to Captain Eo and a little journey with Figment. Fun fact; my mom and I still know EO by heart from when I was a kid in California. :lmao: It rained again while we were playing with our Imaginations. After a quick stop for some candied almonds (LOVE) we went back to the Land to ride my mom's favorite, Soarin!
I dragged hubby to EO. I loved it, of course.....remembered it from my younger days too! It was raining as we went in to EO this same day. I wonder if we were in there at the same time? :confused3

geckodani
01-17-2013, 08:44 PM
We actually slept in for just a bit this same morning.....it seems we had the same park plan for the morning.....and I've heard so many people talking that they didn't get rained on once.....and they were there the same times we were.....I keep wondering, where were these people when we were getting wet? I counted at least 3 different days/times where I had to break out the rain poncho. I suppose this isn't so bad, though!

Anyway, getting back to your question....YES! I am totally creeped out by that food court. We stayed at POR and I like that food court much better. We didn't eat there once this trip but walked through it nearly every evening on our way from the south bus stop to our room.


So I have to wonder if this was the same bus driver we had one evening coming back from one of the parks. He was the usual bus driver from POFQ. He was hilarious! I wish I could remember his name!


I dragged hubby to EO. I loved it, of course.....remembered it from my younger days too! It was raining as we went in to EO this same day. I wonder if we were in there at the same time? :confused3

We may very well have been there at the same time, LOL! Small world indeed. Epcot seems to work out fairly well in the rain.

And I don't know how on earth people out and about on the 12th didn't get drenched at least once. Doesn't seem possible!

I LOVE POFQ, but the floats.... so creepy. So very, very creepy. If we get the same awesome bus driver next week I'm getting his name! He was great.

geckodani
01-18-2013, 09:23 AM
Day Four: Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

Day Four dawned.... gloomy. This was the first day that we had instant breakfasts in the room instead of a more substantial meal, and that would turn out to be a mistake. :faint:

We debated our umbrellas, and ended up leaving them in the room (oops). It wasn't supposed to rain, and it never did really pour, but it was sort of misting/spitting on us just enough to get us nice and wet throughout the course of the morning.

So, we woke up about 8:00, and hopped on a bus to AK! We had Le Cellier reservations for dinner (w00t!) so we'd be spending the morning at AK before heading to Epcot.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190281.jpg

I have mixed feelings about AK. I think it's hard to navigate, not laid out well, and the uneven pavement looks really cool, but is hard to walk on for folks with foot issues, which both of us have. :worried: On the other hand, the animals are cool, the shows are terrific, and EE is awesome.

The very first thing we did was head to EE, grab FPs for later and then walk on through the 5 minute queue! My mom had been talking about this ride all week, so I was excited to take her on it.

She laughed through the whole thing. I, on the other hand, saw spots during the backward portion and got off feeling extremely ill. :crazy2: I grabbed a Chai Latte at the awesome coffee stand the name of which I can not remember, and then we went in search of some breakfast that would hopefully make me feel better! I ended up with an egg flatbread from somewhere I also can't remember the name of, and after about 30 minutes I started to feel better. FOTL was due to start in about 15 minutes, so we headed on over that way, and gave our FPs to some folks to use on EE, since I wasn't feeling up to another go round!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190284.jpg

FOTL was amazing, as always. We did have some issues with seating (my mom is short, LOL!) but it worked out.

After FOTL we decided to ride Dinosaur before the next Nemo show. Dino was fun as always, and we had the tiniest little boy sitting next to us. I am amazed he passed the height requirement, and he was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, but came through it okay, albeit with reeeallly wide eyes. :eek:

After Dino we went to see Nemo. All I can say is WOW. Just, WOW. Neither of us had ever seen it, and we were astounded. I think we both cried a bit too, big mush balls that we are! :goodvibes

After a wonderful time with Nemo, we debated heading off for more animal adventures, but neither of us were feeling great and it was still misting/spitting/cold/wet.

So we decided to head back to POFQ, grab some lunch, maybe rest a bit and then head out to Epcot for our Le Cellier reservation!

Note: Savvy readers may have noticed no mention of a first aid stop off for my mom's meds. We did a trial run with a FRIO pack on our first park day to see how cool it was when we got done with the day, and it was plenty cool so we used it the rest of the trip. It was FANTASTIC, and thank you to everyone on the boards that suggested it!

geckodani
01-21-2013, 01:03 PM
Day Four: Pillowworks!

After waiting what seemed like forever for a bus (is it me or is the bus service at AK just not as good as elsewhere?) we finally made it back to POFQ and stopped for some lunch under the creepy watchful eyes of the floats. I had a nummy quesadilla and Mom had a salad. We split an order of beignets and they were amazing.

My ankle was bothering me after the uneven pavement at AK, so I soaked my feet for a bit in some epsom salt once we got back to the room. We lounged a bit, put on some warmer clothes as it was supposed to be chilly this night. Little did we know we were about to be reeeeallly cold!!!

We had a 6:00 ADR at Le Cellier, so we made our way to the bus stop at about 4:00 and headed on over to Epcot!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190285.jpg

We had some time to kill, so we rode Maelstrom and did a bit of shopping in Norway before heading over towards Canada. The UK had some interesting wares to browse as well.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121213_174747.jpg

That pic cracks me up every time I see it! My mom doesn't drink at all, so to see her with beer goggles on is priceless!

Our dinner at Le Cellier was absolutely FANTASTIC. I had the Filet, and I can't remember what mom had. We split my maple creme brulee and took this little guy with us for later!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121213_194033.jpg

We got out of dinner around 7:30, and it was FREEZING. :cold: We're from MI, and even we were cold! I think it was about 45, and the wind off the lake around the WS was absolutely frigid. We really wanted to stay for Illuminations, but we were miserable, even after Mom insisted on buying me a super cute fleece, I was still really cold.

So, after a bit of deliberation we decided to head back to POFQ, get some hot chocolate and warm up!

One last pic on our way out:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190288.jpg

While I was a little bummed to miss Illuminations, I'm glad we made the decision we did. We went back to the room, grabbed some hot chocolate and watched Miracle on 34th Street. :goodvibes In the middle of the movie we could dimly hear the "pop pop pop" of fireworks somewhere on property.

After finishing the movie, we snuggled up for a good night's sleep. My pillow was a wee bit flat, so I decided to fluff it by pounding on it. Apparently it sounded like the fireworks we had heard earlier, because Mom suddenly said. "Fireworks? No! Pillowworks!" Which set us both of laughing, and was a wonderful way to end the day with a laugh! :rotfl:

geckodani
01-22-2013, 02:24 PM
Day Five: Look Out, It's Pooh Bear!

Day Five dawned sunny and clear - FINALLY! :worship: We didn't have any breakfast plans, but we were going to MK so I called WDW Reservations and asked if they had any breakfast reservations along the monorail track, and we got a 10:30 at 1900 Park Fare! We grabbed a cab, and spent some time looking at the decorations and the gingerbread house. There was a wedding party taking photos in the lobby, so I didn't get many photos.

1900 Park Fare was a lot of fun, but really crowded! :crowded: I ended up sitting with my back to the characters/dining room, and Mom was sitting against the wall. Food was really good- they have lobster eggs benedict!! I was in heaven.

We had a few fun character interactions, and a few meh ones, but when Pooh Bear came along that all changed. He snuck up behind me and bonked me on the head with his nose, which caused me to jump, scream a little, and bonk him in the head. :rotfl2:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/IMG_1950.jpg

If you can't tell from this pic, we are cracking up!!!

After my heart beat returned to normal, we hopped on the monorail and over to MK. We took the train around to Fantasyland, because we had FP+ for Peter Pan, Haunted Mansion, Ariel and Splash Mountain. We headed first to Ariel, but the ride was down. :worried: So Mickey's Philharmagic saved the day! After that we hopped on Peter Pan (love it) and then over to Haunted Mansion.

And then.. I rode it again, solo this time. Mom was Haunted Mansioned out. :lmao: She stopped for a snack at Columbia Harbor house while I rode again. It was on this ride that I found out that the hitchhiking ghosts do different things to your head when you're solo! I don't know what I thought they did, but the little bearded dude blew my head up like a balloon and popped it!

We opted out of Splash Mountain; we'd had enough of being wet this trip! Big Thunder was down again, so our very wet ride would be the only one of this trip. :confused3

I'm low on pics this update, we were just meandering around, soaking it all up since this was our last day! I know we did the Laugh Floor again, and Buzz Lightyear, before stopping for some lunch at the Main Street Bakery. We got giant pastries as our desserts and decided to save them for breakfast the next morning (departure day).

We did a little shopping, and then bid MK good bye and headed back to POFQ to pack up before heading to HS for the evening. When we got back to the room we were greeted by a hidden Mickey!

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121214_151730.jpg

We had an agenda for our last night at HS - Fantasmic and the Osbourne Lights!

geckodani
01-23-2013, 07:24 AM
Day Five: Feliz Navidad!

After we packed up a bit, Mom and I headed back to HS to catch Fantasmic and the Osbourne Lights! While we were waiting at the POFQ bus stop, we got to chatting with a family that was also waiting and on their last night. The mom commented that the last night was always so sad, and Mom and I just looked at each other and laughed. We told them that actually, we had been having a fantastic trip, and we were ready to go home and see our spouses! She was impressed that we had left them behind. :rotfl:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190291.jpg

We got to HS around 4:30, and rode Star Tours and ToT before lining up for the 6:30 Fantasmic! I once again had a ball handing out glow sticks, and got some genuinely delighted reactions from a bunch of the kids around me. :goodvibes

Fantasmic was fantastic as always, even if I do still miss the dragon from Disneyland! After all, I was there for opening night of Fantasmic in California! :cheer2:

After Fantasmic we rode ToT for the third time this trip (my mom loves ToT like I love Haunted Mansion) and then we headed off to see the Osbourne Lights!

This was an absolutely wonderful way to end the trip. We spent about an hour back there, and had a blast watching the lights and goofing off.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121214_202630.jpg

I had two glow bracelets missing connectors, and decided they would make admirable antennae.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121214_203250.jpg

Nanu nanu!

Just as we were getting ready to leave, Feliz Navidad played again. My mom called me the day after we got back and told me that Feliz Navidad had started to play on the radio, and that she'll never be able to listen to it again without remembering our trip! :goodvibes

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/DisneyGirls.jpg

We left HS just in time to get caught in the crowd coming from the 8:00 Fantasmic :crazy2:, and had standing room only on the bus. I was okay, but Mom was stumbling a bit, and a very nice young man gave up his seat for her. To whoever you were, thank you; I hope karma comes back around to reward you!

We got back to POFQ, watched the end of Toy Story, and then went to sleep.

ME picked us up at 9:15 the next morning, and we came home full of good memories.

It was truly a fantastic trip. We got rained on, frozen out of fireworks, and I wouldn't change it for anything. It's a trip I'll never forget, and I'll be forever grateful that we were able to go and spend that time together!

Feliz Navidad!

SAT887
01-23-2013, 01:24 PM
Day Five: Feliz Navidad!

After we packed up a bit, Mom and I headed back to HS to catch Fantasmic and the Osbourne Lights! While we were waiting at the POFQ bus stop, we got to chatting with a family that was also waiting and on their last night. The mom commented that the last night was always so sad, and Mom and I just looked at each other and laughed. We told them that actually, we had been having a fantastic trip, and we were ready to go home and see our spouses! She was impressed that we had left them behind. :rotfl:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190291.jpg

We got to HS around 4:30, and rode Star Tours and ToT before lining up for the 6:30 Fantasmic! I once again had a ball handing out glow sticks, and got some genuinely delighted reactions from a bunch of the kids around me. :goodvibes

Fantasmic was fantastic as always, even if I do still miss the dragon from Disneyland! After all, I was there for opening night of Fantasmic in California! :cheer2:

After Fantasmic we rode ToT for the third time this trip (my mom loves ToT like I love Haunted Mansion) and then we headed off to see the Osbourne Lights!

This was an absolutely wonderful way to end the trip. We spent about an hour back there, and had a blast watching the lights and goofing off.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121214_202630.jpg

I had two glow bracelets missing connectors, and decided they would make admirable antennae.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/20121214_203250.jpg

Nanu nanu!

Just as we were getting ready to leave, Feliz Navidad played again. My mom called me the day after we got back and told me that Feliz Navidad had started to play on the radio, and that she'll never be able to listen to it again without remembering our trip! :goodvibes

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/DisneyGirls.jpg

We left HS just in time to get caught in the crowd coming from the 8:00 Fantasmic :crazy2:, and had standing room only on the bus. I was okay, but Mom was stumbling a bit, and a very nice young man gave up his seat for her. To whoever you were, thank you; I hope karma comes back around to reward you!

We got back to POFQ, watched the end of Toy Story, and then went to sleep.

ME picked us up at 9:15 the next morning, and we came home full of good memories.

It was truly a fantastic trip. We got rained on, frozen out of fireworks, and I wouldn't change it for anything. It's a trip I'll never forget, and I'll be forever grateful that we were able to go and spend that time together!

Feliz Navidad!



Loved your TR! I can't believe how rainy it turned out to be. We were there the week earlier and had such wonderful weather!!

geckodani
01-23-2013, 01:46 PM
Loved your TR! I can't believe how rainy it turned out to be. We were there the week earlier and had such wonderful weather!!

Thanks; I'm glad you enjoyed it!

And pthhhbt to the weather! I know, I was watching the weather the week before we left and it was perfect, and it cleared up on our last day! :rotfl: Ah well, I wouldn't trade that wet and wild ride on Big Thunder for anything!

LisaKeys
01-23-2013, 04:15 PM
I am SO glad I ran across this trip report as I was looking through the list. I cannot even begin to tell you how heartwarming it was to read about your trip. What a wonderful, special relationship you both have; truly blessed!

I just LOVE the photo of you and your Mom from years back on the carousel. Look at her long, long hair! Did you notice that the smiles way back then match the same smiles on your face now?

Thank you again for sharing. It truly is one of my favorite reports I've ever read. I teared up more than once (yes, I'm a mushy sentimental type - lol) and my heart sank when the report was over. :D

Have a great year! :thumbsup2

geckodani
01-23-2013, 09:09 PM
I am SO glad I ran across this trip report as I was looking through the list. I cannot even begin to tell you how heartwarming it was to read about your trip. What a wonderful, special relationship you both have; truly blessed!

I just LOVE the photo of you and your Mom from years back on the carousel. Look at her long, long hair! Did you notice that the smiles way back then match the same smiles on your face now?

Thank you again for sharing. It truly is one of my favorite reports I've ever read. I teared up more than once (yes, I'm a mushy sentimental type - lol) and my heart sank when the report was over. :D

Have a great year! :thumbsup2

Aw! Thank you Lisa!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hadn't noticed the similarity in the smiles until you pointed it out. :goodvibes

My mom just cut her hair about 2 years ago, it was down to her hips for as long as I can remember before that. She loves it short, but I think sometimes she misses the length!

This trip... I'll never forget it. I know we have a unique and close relationship, and I really, truly enjoy spending time with her. She's my favorite travel buddy, and I hope we'll get to go again someday, but if we don't, I'm just so glad that this trip happened.

Thanks for reading, and I'm glad I brought a smile to your face. :lovestruc

geckodani
03-13-2013, 07:20 AM
A Few Final Thoughts

I asked OhMari to move this out of the completed forum so I could add some final thoughts and one more set of pics (thanks OhMari!).

I was looking through some of the photopass photos, and came across this progression that pretty much sums up why I love vacationing with my mom.

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/42477190208_zps6898bf98.jpg

I have no idea what we are laughing at, or why the pointing (clearly she's channeling her inner gangstah), but we are clearly having fun. :goodvibes:

The whole trip was like that. Even when we were being rained on, we were still just having a blast. It really was a trip that I will remember forever. I was at POFQ with my husband a month or so after this trip, and I kept thinking about how my mom got such a kick out of all the foliage at the resort. That woman knows her plant life! We still laugh about a lot of the little moments, and I am so very glad that we went.

geckodani
04-03-2013, 12:46 PM
So.... a small update. We had so much fun, we're going to try to go again! :banana:

I'm saving my pennies and crossing my fingers that a trip will happen over President's Day week in 2014! I know it will be busy, but it's the only time we're going to be able to swing it next year. Can. Not. Wait. :goodvibes

geckodani
04-04-2013, 02:16 PM
A Review of FastPass+

After reading teekathepony's TR (We Got No Troubles; Life Is The Bubbles! A Sept. 2012 Art of Animation Trip Report! (http://disboards.com/showpost.php?p=46275923&postcount=1)) I realized that a review of FP+ might be helpful for some folks.

We had two days that we were able to test FP+. We were allowed to choose one day in HS and one in MK to test. On our HS day, I had FP+ for Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, and Tower of Terror. I don't have the confirmation times for that one, but if I recall correctly they were about an hour apart (except for ToT, which I put at the end of the night). So the schedule looked something like this:

3:05 - 4:05 Star Tours
4:05 - 5:05 Toy Story Midway Mania

6:05 - Dinner ADR at Sci-Fi

7:00 - 8:00 Tower of Terror

This worked out beautifully for us on this day. We ended up missing the Star Tours spot, but we had ridden it before so it was no big deal. We walked right up to TSMM, waved our cards and on we went. The after dinner ToT FP+ worked out beautifully as well.

At MK, I actually still have our email with our times:

http://i973.photobucket.com/albums/ae212/geckodani/FP_zps94179913.png

When we got to Little Mermaid, the ride was down but we were told we could come back at any time and they would let us in. We didn't end up doing so, but it was nice to know that they would have honored it. We used the FP+ for Peter Pan, which was wonderful as the stand by line was over an hour long!

We utilized the HM FP+, but skipped Splash as we were sick of being wet.

Overall, I really enjoyed FP+. Walking into HS in the afternoon and directly on to TSMM was worth its weight in GOLD. I look forward to using it on future trips as well.

It seemed to work the best for us by scheduling around an ADR; I knew that Sci-Fi was reasonable close to TSMM, so I put that spot just before our ADR etc.

While we didn't end up using all our spots, knowing that I had a guaranteed spot on some of my favorite attractions was awesome.

teekathepony
04-05-2013, 05:57 AM
Hello! I made it over! I read through the whole thing this morning. Great report!
That pic of you and your mom on the carousel at Disneyland is just priceless, literally. That's a keepsake for sure. I love that you sorta re-created it! I have a pic of my dad and I at the Sunshine Tree Terrace that I would love to re-create if I ever get him back with me!
The creepy clowns are seriously the biggest reason I didn't want to stay at POFQ! Hahaha
Wow, you guys had a lot of rain! Kept your chins up though, that's really great.
All your Christmasy pictures are making me so excited for my Christmas trip this year!
Love those Photopass pics of you and your mom. You two look like you had a LOT of fun together.
Thanks for your review of your experience with the FP+ system! We definitely had opposite opinions, but I can definitely see how it *could* be a great thing to have. Walking up to TSM and just hopping right in the FP line sounds awesome!

geckodani
04-05-2013, 07:46 AM
Hello! I made it over! I read through the whole thing this morning. Great report!
That pic of you and your mom on the carousel at Disneyland is just priceless, literally. That's a keepsake for sure. I love that you sorta re-created it! I have a pic of my dad and I at the Sunshine Tree Terrace that I would love to re-create if I ever get him back with me!
The creepy clowns are seriously the biggest reason I didn't want to stay at POFQ! Hahaha
Wow, you guys had a lot of rain! Kept your chins up though, that's really great.
All your Christmasy pictures are making me so excited for my Christmas trip this year!
Love those Photopass pics of you and your mom. You two look like you had a LOT of fun together.
Thanks for your review of your experience with the FP+ system! We definitely had opposite opinions, but I can definitely see how it *could* be a great thing to have. Walking up to TSM and just hopping right in the FP line sounds awesome!

We were going to try to re-create it, but didn't have anyone to take the pic, and I wasn't comfortable leaving my camera with a stranger to try! Maybe next time. :goodvibes

It really did pour on us. It could have been miserable, but I'm glad we just went with it. And we really did have a TON of fun. And the masks.... so creepy. Not enough to keep me away, but when I was there with DH in Jan we ate outside a lot, LOL!!!

Christmas at Disney is awesome - you are going to love it!

FP+ really did work for us, but I can totally see how it could be frustrating in different circumstances. I think the fact that I looked at it as a perk and not a necessity might have helped as well.

Thanks for coming to check out the TR!