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Clare Voince
01-31-2013, 08:32 PM
Hi Everyone! This is my very first trip report on the DIS! I've lurked on this forum for years, and I've loved reading all of your reports, so I thought I'd give it a go. My trip was Sept 19th-23rd 2012, and I kept notes of the events of the trip with the intent of writing this report, but things got busy when I came home, so I'm just getting to it now! It was a short trip, but I have lots of photos to share!

It was a very spontaneous trip, made with only two weeks of planning!

I unexpectedly got 3 days off of work from Sept 19th-21st, and with so little time to plan, I couldnt find anyone to go anywhere with me. I thought about Disney but it was too late to take advantage of any special offers from Disney, so I didnt think it would be worth my while to go... until I checked out rates at the Dolphin, which were $135/night!! It was too good of a deal to pass up. Airfare was a little more difficult. Flying out of my airport in Avoca, PA was $680! I did find airfare at Lehigh Valley for a more reasonable $260, so I decided the $400 was worth an hour long drive. That ended up being a big mistake. I also decided that since I was going solo, I wouldnt try to get any ADRs and just eat counter service the whole trip... also a big mistake.

I'll skip the story of the trip down, as I don't want to spoil the beginning with the typical airline travel gripes! Continued in my next post!

Day 1: I'm Finally There! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47371153&postcount=2)
Day 1: On my way to the MK (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47377531&postcount=7)
Day 1: It's hip to be Square! Town Square and Liberty Square (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47385029&postcount=9)
Day 1: Dinner and a Dole Whip (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47420781&postcount=11)
Day 1: Peoplemover Firework ride (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=47457463&postcount=17)

Clare Voince
01-31-2013, 08:42 PM
I arrived at MCO at 1:40, an hour later than expected! :(

I had to stop at the restroom as soon as I got off the plane, so I I just missed the airport monorail:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-2VsT6gS/1/L/IMG_2415-L.jpg

Fortunately, by the time I got to the baggage area, the luggage was just coming out, and my bag was the very first one on the belt! :woohoo:

I had a wait at the rental car counter, but it wasn't bad. I left the airport and headed for the parking garage to pick out my car. I took a moment to enjoy the sunshine, and warmth while waiting to cross the street. I brought my GPS with me, but I was so anxious to get going, that I left it in my carry on bag that I put in the trunk! Turns out I didn't need it anyway. As I made my way out of the garage, I saw some water coming off an upper level and thought that was odd since the sun was shining when I left the airport. Sure enough, as I left the garage, it was raining! Then it stopped about 2 minutes later. Then it started again, rained for 5 minutes, then stopped. Then as I got off of I-4, the sky opened up, and it was a monsoon! It rained so hard, visibility was a problem. I got to the Dolphin and valet parked the car, so luckily, I didn't get wet.

I checked in, then went to buy my park ticket. I was on the 1st floor, Room 1001, so I actually had to take the elevator down from the lobby, which confused a lot of guests during my stay. I'd push the down button, get on the elevator, then someone would come running in, assuming the elevator was going up.

My room was about as far away as it could be, at the end of a very long corridor, but for $135 a night, I had no right to complain. First thing I did was call home to let my father know I arrived safely, then I took pictures of the room before I messed it up.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-rVSkPHN/1/L/IMG_2419-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-SXzKBzj/0/L/IMG_2421-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-RR5mDLb/0/L/IMG_2423-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-dp5sk46/0/L/IMG_2424-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-56R479h/0/L/IMG_2425-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-zN5GwjZ/1/L/IMG_2426-L.jpg

As you can see there wasnt much of a view. Since there was a sidewalk so close to my window, I kept the drapes closed the entire time I was there.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-6GMkTZN/0/L/IMG_2427-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Nj7VGtL/0/L/IMG_2429-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-69GZt7F/0/L/IMG_2430-L.jpg

The bathroom door actually hit the tub when it was opened like this. Once again, for $135 a night, I didnt care!

The rain had stopped by then, and the forecast said it was done for the day, so I decided to head for the Magic Kingdom!

bookbunny
01-31-2013, 10:08 PM
The room looked nice. And you arent that far from Boardwalk. So that is a plus. I have thought about going to Disney on my own but have never done it. I hope your mini vacation turns out well.

rachel09985
01-31-2013, 10:11 PM
Im in!! Room looks nice!

DreamingPink
01-31-2013, 10:46 PM
I am here too! Thanks for sharing, and love the room!

Clare Voince
01-31-2013, 11:28 PM
The room looked nice. And you arent that far from Boardwalk. So that is a plus. I have thought about going to Disney on my own but have never done it. I hope your mini vacation turns out well.

I really wished there had been a door there, so I could walk out to the sidewalk, but there wasn't! There was a fire exit in the hall, but I couldn't use that. :) So I still had to walk down the long hall to get outside. The room was nice, but the weird window and door hitting the tub led me to think that I got the crappy room they give to cheapos like me! ;)

Clare Voince
02-01-2013, 02:55 PM
On my way to the bus stop I took some photos of the hotel.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-5WpZVFq/1/L/IMG_2432-L.jpg

My camera lens wasnít used to the humidity yet.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-kgGpkNc/1/L/IMG_2433-L.jpg

See that couple on the sidewalk? When they got closer, the guy tried to photobomb me, but I was busy taking this:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-b6vspXS/1/L/IMG_2434-L.jpg

So I didnít have my camera pointed at him. I think Iíd have preferred the photobomb! He was about 60 years old too!

The ceiling in the lobby:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-KtRzRGP/0/L/IMG_2435-L.jpg

The fountain in the lobby:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-983Dp2b/1/L/IMG_2437-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-wf6tcBk/1/L/IMG_2438-L.jpg

I know that the Ďdolphinsí are stylized, but they really just look like fish.

Bench at the bus stop, with ugly Ďdolphinsí:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-dNb6wbH/0/L/IMG_2442-L.jpg

In case you didnít know what you were waiting for:
http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-NLv38HZ/1/L/IMG_2443-L.jpg

View of the entrance of the resort from the bus stop:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-GCHjHrX/1/L/IMG_2447-L.jpg

With more funny dolphins at the top:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-g3DFFr5/1/L/IMG_2448-L.jpg

I didnít have a long wait for the bus, which was great. I seemed to have short waits at the hotel, and long waits at the parks when trying to get back to the hotel. Happily, we only shared the route with the Swan and the Boardwalk. When Iíd stayed at the Boardwalk in 2003, all five Epcot resorts shared busses, making the trips anywhere very long.

We passed by Fantasia Gardens:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-SFhMvBP/1/L/IMG_2451-L.jpg

And the Contemporary Resort:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-k4xQvXg/1/L/IMG_2453-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-fkQjnvt/1/L/IMG_2454-L.jpg

While the bus was waiting to pull into itís spot, I saw this and it reminded me of the DIS:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-z6734Lp/1/L/IMG_2455-L.jpg

Then finally I was in the Magic Kingdom!

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-GkJN294/1/L/IMG_2456-L.jpg

bookbunny
02-01-2013, 08:23 PM
Yeah I wonder if they see that as an on going joke. Dolphins dont have gills. Every time I see that hotel I always say it is the Fish and Swan. LOL

All in all, it looks like the day was beautiful. I loved the ceiling of the hotel. I so look forward to seeing Magic Kingdom in 3 weeks. I am really enjoying your updates. It just makes me more excited to be at Disney soon.

:goodvibes

Clare Voince
02-02-2013, 12:57 PM
The Magic Kingdom was all decked out for Halloween.

The Mickey OLantern was out:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-gx8TMzG/0/L/IMG_2457-L.jpg

As well as the scarecrows in town square:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-NNTj9Fh/1/L/IMG_2459-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-56r2Zjh/1/L/IMG_2460-L.jpg


I decided to take my time and take some photos of Town Square:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-qCSqZZq/1/L/IMG_2461-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-X5rPZh3/1/L/IMG_2462-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-pZKjZHd/1/L/IMG_2463-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-C7ckjpG/1/L/IMG_2464-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-WrRTPp2/1/L/IMG_2465-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-CjptKm4/1/L/IMG_2466-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-krGFhNR/1/L/IMG_2467-L.jpg

By now I was starting to get hungry, so I headed for Caseys, where I wanted to try their corn dog nuggets, but when I got there, I decided I didnt want to sit outside in the heat. I stopped to take a picture of Cindys place:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-KGfQgCf/1/L/IMG_2470-L.jpg

Hard to believe there was a downpour here an hour or so ago.

I decided to head for Pecos Bills, because Lou Mongello raved about their burgers in a podcast. As I crossed into Liberty Square, I noticed that the Hall of Presidents show was about to start. The cast members said it was the last show of the day, so it was perfect timing! I only had a minute to snap one picture in the holding area:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-t3mFhRQ/1/L/IMG_2472-L.jpg

The last time I was at WDW was 2007, so this was my first time seeing Obama in the HOP. Im a big Obama fan, so I looking forward to it. My point and shoot isnt so great in low light, but I did the best I could:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-bxsfcnx/0/L/IMG_2474-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-9cxXMqV/0/L/IMG_2476-L.jpg

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http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-hj6bQCj/1/L/IMG_2489-L.jpg

Im sorry, but I dont think it looks anything like him! I was kind of disappointed.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-8BNvZSr/1/L/IMG_2485-L.jpg

Course, I didnt think this looked like George W Bush either.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-6BMxhkV/1/XL/IMG_2491-XL.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-RShcVSZ/1/L/IMG_2496-L.jpg

After the show, I stopped at the Liberty Bell. According to the sign, this one was cast from the original mold in 1989, which surprised me, because I thought it had always been there, and my first trip was in the 1970s!

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-BHBVc87/1/L/IMG_2499-L.jpg

Now it was time for that burger!

bookbunny
02-02-2013, 08:20 PM
Cool! Yeah I swear that bell had been there for quite some time. Maybe the one they had before was not perfect. Yeah, President Obama should be redone. It dont look as good as President Lincoln. But I do enjoy the speaks they tell.

Clare Voince
02-06-2013, 05:44 AM
I was really hungry by the time I made it to Pecos Bills.
http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-rfnQNHB/1/L/IMG_2501-L.jpg

I hadnít been here since I was a child. My Dad told me that when we were kids, there were animal heads in the seating area that would come alive and talk. I have no memory of it, but I wish it was still there.

I got my burger, and the cast member who gave me my drink overfilled it, and it leaked all over my tray as I was walking to a table.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-tmF8XdW/1/L/IMG_2504-L.jpg

I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture before I started eating! Lou was right, it was very good. The crowds were so light that several sections of tables were roped off, and the one I was sitting in wasnít filled either.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-B7sLch8/1/L/IMG_2505-L.jpg

Feeling better now, I headed in the direction of Adventureland, and came across a really cool looking bench:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-xCVdShw/1/L/IMG_2506-L.jpg

I headed for POTC, and I went to the left since itís usually a shorter line. It was true, I had no wait, whereas the other side had about a 1 minute wait. :)

Afterwards, I hung out in the shop and I fell in love with this T-shirt, but I didnít buy it:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-JRbK7PF/1/L/IMG_2523-L.jpg

When I left the shop, I noticed a kid playing Sorcererís of the Magic Kingdom. One of the Ďwindowsí in adventureland was a screen with some animation. I didnít stick around to see what it did.

Next I went to the Jungle Cruise where I saw a cute pet:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Cd6RMTZ/1/L/IMG_2528-L.jpg

What exactly is a skink??

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-pDTMtpp/1/L/IMG_2529-L.jpg

Shh, donít wake the sleeping Zebra.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-8ppWw3B/1/L/IMG_2535-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-WNSSGWW/1/L/IMG_2536-L.jpg

The backside of water!

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Jmft4PT/1/L/IMG_2541-L.jpg

Moon River

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-mVvg3Sx/1/L/IMG_2543-L.jpg

How to get ahead in business:

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-BsKc8j8/1/L/IMG_2545-L.jpg

There was about 15 minutes before the Tiki Room show began, so I wandered around the area and took some pictures.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Mgx23j5/1/L/IMG_2549-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-ZbzzG3v/1/L/IMG_2550-L.jpg

I also checked out the shop in the bazaar, and saw another family doing Sorcererís.. this time it was actually in a hallway between two shops. It was a bad location, since I had to either walk between them and the screen, or wait for it to finish to get to the other store.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-w35gT26/1/L/IMG_2552-L.jpg

It was finally Tiki Time!

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Xct9kLD/1/L/IMG_2553-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-rSLDnbw/1/L/IMG_2554-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-JPmBNDS/0/L/IMG_2555-L.jpg

After the show I decided to get a Dole Whip!

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-cd3gC3g/0/L/IMG_2558-L.jpg

This was the first time I got the Dole Whip float. It was good, but the pineapple juice was a bit too much. Iím going to stick with the ice cream next time. I called home to brag about the fact that I was sitting in Adventureland eating a Dole Whip. Iím mean! ;)

afnaechiquita
02-06-2013, 07:46 AM
I love unplanned trips (almost as much as I love planning trips... :))! Looks like a good trip so far!

DaveinFallsChurch
02-06-2013, 08:23 AM
Joining in! Sounds like a fun trip so far!

I love reading about solo trips. I got to do a mini-solo trip for the very first time to Disneyland last October when I tacked on a couple of days to my conference travel plans and my family couldn't make it with me. Missed having them with me for many of the attractions but also enjoyed the flexibility of touring by myself.

Can't wait to read more!

bookbunny
02-07-2013, 11:44 AM
I am sooooo enjoying the pics and all that. I have never tried the Dole Whip either. I keep hearing that it is really good. I love pinapples. Since I will be down there in 2 weeks, I will have to try it. I look forward to them also bringing in the Starbucks Coffee. With the winter weather here, I am counting down the days till I get to enjoy the warmer weather. :thumbsup2

Terkina
02-07-2013, 12:11 PM
Great trip report so far. I love all the pictures. I'm looking forward to read more :)

ILGoofy
02-07-2013, 01:40 PM
Joining in! I like to read about other solos. :thumbsup2

Clare Voince
02-09-2013, 09:32 PM
Glad to have you all along!

I decided to head for my 2nd favorite ride, the Haunted Mansion! I loved the new queue, but it was too dark at that point to take any photos. There was very little wait, so I didnít get to linger. When I boarded my doombuggy, I was shocked to see all kinds of trash on the floor opposite the loading area. People are pigs! I was a little annoyed at Disney for not cleaning it up, but when I thought about it, I realized they were probably unable to do so without stopping the attraction.

I decided to head for Tomorrowland to ride another favorite of mine, the Peoplemover. On the way, I passed Itís a Small World. It also had no wait, so I decided to jump in line.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-dBvN4gx/1/L/IMG_2562-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Sb2DzSL/1/L/IMG_2564-L.jpg

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http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-bd79f4p/1/L/IMG_2570-L.jpg

Then I noticed that Winnie the Pooh had no line. I never went on this ride, so I had to try it.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-nqdmFqL/1/L/IMG_2572-L.jpg

I should have passed, it was way too kiddie for me.

It was about this time that I realized that if I timed it right, I could get on the Peoplemover right before the fireworks started, and I could watch them from the ride! So I stopped in a restroom in Tomorrowland.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-Z4XKxVc/1/L/IMG_2573-L.jpg

Then I killed some time in Merchant of Venus. About 5 minutes before 9, I headed for the Peoplemover. There was no line, and the cast member mentioned the fireworks would be starting soon. I told her that Iíd planned it that way, and she thought it was a good idea!

I went in a bit too soon though, because the fireworks didnít start until the ride was Ĺ over. I did have some luck though, right as I was going through a long stretch that looks over the castle, Tinkerbell started flying! I donít usually watch the fireworks in the park because I hate fighting the crowds for a spot, so I never got to see Tinkerbell before. It was much cooler than I expected, because you could really tell it was a real person waving her wand!

The fireworks were still going when I got off the ride, so I headed toward the hub, and stopped when I found a bench that gave me a partial view.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-CZDCt5M/1/L/IMG_2577-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-8zbGsCQ/1/L/IMG_2578-L.jpg

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-vLR6zgS/1/L/IMG_2582-L.jpg

I decided to wait until the crowd thinned out, so I sat on my bench and called home. After talking for awhile, I got up and headed out.

http://jupiter.smugmug.com/Disney/Walt-Disney-World-2012/i-tPh2gXJ/0/L/IMG_2584-L.jpg

I thought Iíd do some shopping, but the stores were so packed you could hardly walk through them. I didnít get any snacks for my hotel room, so I stopped at a popcorn cart. They had just run out, so they were making a new batch. I got it in a souvenir container with a lid so I could keep it for later. I have to confess that Iíve never had popcorn in the MK before. It just seemed that there were so many better things to eat than popcorn, but before I left, I listened to Lou Mongello, who raved about the popcorn. I hate to admit it, he was right. It was some of the best popcorn Iíve ever had.