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tinkerbell6
03-21-2004, 08:27 PM
Back from our first family WDW trip! Had generally great weather, lots of fun, but the trip ended waaaaay too soon! We really needed 2 weeks to have time to see other things, like Kennedy, the coast, the outlets ;) , and more time to just relax around the pool. One week just didn't cut it!

Border crossings were uneventful, but the airport in Seattle was crazy busy! Nice flights, all on time.

Arrived in Orlando really late on Friday the 12th, rented a car from National. Drove to our hotel--Sheraton Vistana--and settled in around 12:30 am. Saturday was a day to pick up a few snacks, head over to Downtown Disney, have a nap, check out the resort. We spent the evening at the Hoop De Doo. It was quite fun, even though we were seated up top (last-minute reservation) the actors still paid attention to us.

On Sunday we went to Epcot (avoiding EE at MK), weather was beautiful. We went on Test Track and loved it! DH went on Mission Space using the single rider line, and was on within 5 minutes. He thought it was excellent. We did a quick tour of the WS, starting in Mexico. The film in Canada was disappointing--very 70's, very dated. Many people left half way through. I'm sure I saw that same film somewhere before--hopefully not when I was first in WDW 25 years ago! Then the beaver tail stand was closed! :eek: We had lunch at Teppanyaki's, and enjoyed it. Glad for the opportunity to get some veggies into DD!

Monday was a hectic day at MK! Very busy, and the weather deteriorated throughout the day. That night, they closed some rides due to lightning in the area, then as we were walking to the Haunted Mansion, there was a HUGE crack of thunder and lightning right over us. Everyone in the area hit the deck! The CM there said "Welcome to the Haunted Mansion, folks!" Very creepy. Never heard thunder that loud before!

Tuesday for MGM day, in the pouring rain! We were soaked to our socks! It eased off by the afternoon, and we saw the Beauty & the Beast show (4 for a dollar were super!), Ariel, went on TOT, and hit all our highlights.

Wednesday & Thursday were MK days for us, with fireworks on Wednesday night. Friday was the long travel day.

Some highlights of the trip:
--DD got to wake up Tinkerbell in the shop on Wednesday, and is quite proud of her certificate.
--we WALKED UP to CRT on the off chance there was a cancellation, and WE GOT IN!! So we had breakfast with the princesses!! Very lucky day!
--LTT for dinner was excellent--good food, lots of character interaction.
--DD brought a picture of Peter Pan that she'd drawn, hoping to give it to him. We saw Wendy, and asked the handler if Peter would be by, but she said he was done for the day. Wendy asked DD to sign the picture, and promised to deliver it to Peter for her! DD was so pleased!

The weather was around 75-80 each day, even the rainy days. We really wished the trip didn't end so soon--next time it has to be 2 weeks!


:earsgirl: :earsboy: princess:

DisneyLisa
03-21-2004, 10:27 PM
Welcome back :wave2: ...sounds like you had a great trip...can a WDW vacation ever be long enough? ;) The Beavertail stand is always closed when we're there too...we can get them here in Ottawa any time but we've always wanted to try one at WDW. Maybe we'll finally get one when we go in July. Hearing your report makes me so anxious to get there. :)

Jo-Anne
03-21-2004, 10:28 PM
Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time - too bad weather was a little wet...but much better than what we had in Ontario last week! I really like what Wendy did for your DD! How did you find the crowds? Did you have any great meals? We're not going for another 6 months, but I keep mulling around in my head all the different meals I want to have! Did you find the fireworks anything special? My DH hates large crowds and even tho we'll be going in off season, I"m not sure he'd be up to standing like sardines in MK just to see fireworks! Jo

tinkerbell6
03-21-2004, 11:10 PM
It was really crowded at MK on Monday the 15th, but supposedly not near capacity. We left in the afternoon, and came back at supper time. It was just getting too hectic. I've seen many comments on the Attractions board about last week's crowds. Thursday the 18th was very busy as well, but it was EE day for the on-site guests (not us). The longest line we saw that day was 75 minutes (Splash). The weather was also hot that day, so it was quite packed. We make good use of fast passes throughout the day, and hit the important rides first thing in the morning. We really took our time on Thursday, since we'd already done our "must-do's". We took many long breaks, found a favourite spot to sit--on the path that goes from behind the castle down to Fantasyland, there is Cinderella's fountain. There are 3 benches, with a lovely view of the water around the castle. The path is not that busy, and we sat there for quite a while having a snack, enjoying the view, basically undisturbed in an otherwise busy park.

I must say we weren't really adventurous with meals. We loved the Liberty Tree dinner--we were ready for some "regular" food--turkey, potatoes, beans, etc. CRT was nothing special foodwise, but the potatoes were excellent. I had a salad from the Plaza Pavillion that was yummy and not expensive at all--lots of chicken, potato slices, green beans, lettuce, etc. in a good vinagrette dressing. The menu there is not huge, but they have lots of seating, outside but covered, and not too busy. Teppanyaki was good as well--DD enjoyed eating her rice and veggies with the chopsticks (they put an elastic around the end to help her out--she thought she was the smartest 5-year old in the place) ;)

We only saw the Wishes fireworks in MK. I wanted to see Illuminations more, but we didn't plan it out right to make it back to Epcot. Wishes was good, but we discovered you need to stake out your spot *early*. We went to the train platform 1/2 hour ahead and not a seat to be found. So we were standing up there, when a couple with their child came and stood RIGHT in front of us and DD 5 minutes before the fireworks started. DH made some comments to them, but the man didn't even acknowledge him, and obviously didn't move. So we decided to run down to the street to see what we could see. I'm not a big crowd person either, but the fireworks were good. Illuminations does sound better though.

We did notice Pirates is not as long at WDW as in DL, and Small World is completely unspectacular on the outside. But the castle is big, and it was a nice experience to eat inside.

I'm feeling post-trip letdown this weekend. :( It wasn't long enough of a vacation, and I always miss Disney when I'm not there. I've been telling DH over and over again this weekend--we need to start planning our next trip to somewhere, anywhere, soon!

:earsgirl: :earsboy: princess:

bunnyfoo
03-22-2004, 01:08 AM
Welcome back tinkerbell6! I know what you mean about the post-trip blues... My trips are usually about 1.5-2 weeks and they never seem long enough :p What was it like to wake up Tinkerbell? I don't think I'd get a chance to do it but it sounds interesting :)

Canadave
03-22-2004, 07:46 AM
Welcome back tinkerbell6...sounds like a great trip dispite the weather... lightning & thunder at the HM would be an awesome effect...I wish we had have checked at CRT when we were there in February, we had planned to go there, but didn't win the phone lottery...didn't even think of checking in on the actual day:( ...good for you

kellyla
03-22-2004, 09:05 AM
Welcome back:wave2: Despite the rain and the crowds,sounds like you had a great time.

maryliz
03-22-2004, 09:45 AM
Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time. Did your DD get to wake up Tinkerbell because it was when the shop first opened? I didn't know they did this, but something I might want to check out. Sounds like fun.

Mary Liz

TimNDansMom
03-22-2004, 09:57 AM
Welcome back tinkerbell6. I was in MK when that crack of lightening stuck and I just about jumped out of my skin!!:eek:

I was absolutely exhausted after spending the day, right up until 11pm, at MK and I even took a break at the GF for Afternoon Tea and went over to EPCOT to send some email postcards from Innoventions! My legs got a good work-out dodging all those people!!

But I really wanted to do my favourites rides and most of all, see Wishes. After that last downpour in the evening, I found it a bit more manageable and reminded me of an e-night. Luckily they were able to get in the 8pm Spectromagic parade and Wishes.

Next time, you have to plan to see Illuminations. It has always been my favourite. I was in MK on my last day, saw Spectro again and then raced for the monorail over to EPCOT. I almost stayed to see Wishes again (had seen if once from MK and twice from the GF dock) but I'm so glad I decided to end my trip with Illuminations.

I wonder what is up with the Beavertail stand ~ it was closed for me too!

I am sad to be home too. A week is just not long enough, especially when you drive down.

hockey mom
03-22-2004, 10:01 AM
Sounds like your hooked now. Also curious on the waking up tinkerbell episode. Glad you had a good time.

tinkerbell6
03-22-2004, 10:28 AM
I'm definitely hooked! We love DL and now I love WDW! I would like to be in Florida for 2 weeks next time, for sure.

The "waking Tink" thing is something I read about on the boards. Last Wednesday, we were at the park *early*, we were even right up against the rope for rope-drop! DH scooped up DD and we dashed over the the castle. They still had the rope up there, but as soon as it dropped, we went into Tinkerbell's Treasure. You know how Tink flies around the store during the day? Each morning, the first child in the store is asked to do something special--so DD was asked if she'd like to do them a favour, and wake up Tinkerbell. They give her a wand to tap on a treasure chest-type of box behind the counter, as she says "Wake up Tinkerbell!" and then Tink starts flying around the store. DD received a magical moments certificate and a bunch of Tinkerbell stickers. It was cute and DD was quite proud.

From there, we walked straight over to CRT (it was then 9:05) and asked if there were any cancellations--and there was 1! So we walked immediately into breakfast with the princesses--DD was in heaven! We hadn't mentioned the possibility at all since we hadn't been able to get PS. The waitress told us that they often have 1 or 2 cancellations that someone is lucky enough to pick up! So Wednesday was our lucky day!

Definitely want to see Illuminations next time! Sounds beautiful! Ooooh, can't wait to go again! We've now done Disney 3 years in a row, and I'd love to go again next year! Now the debate is DL (it's the 50th) or WDW, and should we take DD out of school or not??

Guess I better start planning! :p At least it's been sunny here since we got home, but my tan is fading fast!

Lisa
:earsgirl: :earsboy: princess:

TimNDansMom
03-22-2004, 10:55 AM
DH is talking about DL. He wants to check out the golf courses there and we have a friend to visit in San Diego.

I love WDW so I am torn but he said he doesn't want to go back to Florida for our next trip as we have been many times since 2000 and he wants a change. (Of golf courses, that is!) My sister lives in Nanoose Bay, on Vancouver Island and her inlaws gave them a trip to DL for Christmas. She enjoyed it but doesn't have WDW to compare it to. What are your thoughts in comparing WDW and DL?

cdnmickeylover
03-22-2004, 11:05 AM
Welcome back. Glad to hear that you had a good time. I really liked Wishes the last time we were there. I like Illuminations too but I think my favourite is Fantasmic.

Love those Dole Whips too. Can't wait to go back.

tinkerbell6
03-22-2004, 12:22 PM
I would say the MK itself is a lot like DL--we know DL quite well, and were really able to get around the MK without a map most of the time. The MK is more spread out than DL, the castle is larger, and I think the Haunted Mansion is much spookier than DL!
BUT, DL has things that WDW doesn't, like the Indiana Jones ride and Matterhorn bobsleds. DL's Fantasyland seems maybe a bit more magical. Everything in DL is more compact as well.

The California Adventure Park is nice, kind of a combination of MGM and a wharf-style amusement park. Glad to see WDW is getting a Soarin' Over California ride--it is excellent!!

The biggest difference between the DL/DCA and WDW to me is the transportation. At DL, we usually stay off-site, and our shuttle can get us basically to the gate in minutes. The two parks are separated by a large plaza that makes park-hopping so easy, and DT Disney is at the far end of the plaza. (WDW's DT Disney is bigger!) We treat the monorail like a ride, we don't really need it to get around. The Grand Californian hotel is stunning--maybe next time for us!

We decided to rent a car for WDW at the last minute, and are extremely glad we did! We stayed off-site, and it made things so much more convenient.

I must say I love both DL and WDW. DL we can do in under a week quite well, and there is lots to do in SoCal, especially if you take a trip down to San Diego. WDW is more of a resort destination. We didn't think a week (6 days really) was nearly enough! We didn't even get to AK, and I needed more time at Epcot than we had. Didn't hit many outlets, or the coast, or Cape Kennedy. Maybe the difference is mainly a California vs Florida feeling--both good, just different. We're within a 20-hour drive of DL, just like people in Ontario can drive down to WDW. WDW is a bigger trip for us, and we need more time there!

I would have to say they're slightly different in feeling, but they are both still Disney, and so they're both magical!! ::yes::

Lisa
:earsgirl: :earsboy: princess:

bunnyfoo
03-22-2004, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by tinkerbell6

The "waking Tink" thing is something I read about on the boards. Last Wednesday, we were at the park *early*, we were even right up against the rope for rope-drop! DH scooped up DD and we dashed over the the castle. They still had the rope up there, but as soon as it dropped, we went into Tinkerbell's Treasure. You know how Tink flies around the store during the day? Each morning, the first child in the store is asked to do something special--so DD was asked if she'd like to do them a favour, and wake up Tinkerbell. They give her a wand to tap on a treasure chest-type of box behind the counter, as she says "Wake up Tinkerbell!" and then Tink starts flying around the store. DD received a magical moments certificate and a bunch of Tinkerbell stickers. It was cute and DD was quite proud.


Wow! You know I don't think I've ever seen the Tinkerbell store before. I'll have to check it out next time. Waking up Tinkerbell sounds like fun... makes me wish I was a little kid again :p

TimNDansMom
03-22-2004, 02:49 PM
Thanks for all the great information about DL, Lisa. What off-site hotels do you recommend?

DSNY FN
03-22-2004, 03:01 PM
Glad you had a great time I know what you mean a week is way to short.

mbb
03-22-2004, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by TimNDansMom


I wonder what is up with the Beavertail stand ~ it was closed for me too!



If they were the whole wheat ones - you guys really didn't miss much!! :crazy2:

Glad you had a great trip tinkerbell6!!Welcome Home!!:sunny:

bunnyfoo
03-22-2004, 04:27 PM
I heard that the Beavertail stand doesn't open until sometime in the afternoon (maybe 3PM) ... I went by in December and got one around 7 or 8PM. I have to say they aren't as good as the ones you can get here. I think the stuff you get there is not only whole wheat but baked too. I guess its healthier but not the treat I remember it to be :p