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blestmom 02-04-2010 01:16 AM

“It’s All in the Details” 2-week January Photo Trip report

Me (Mom) – 45

DD -13 (“Princess”)

DS – 11 (“Mr. Energy”)


My first Disney trip report chronicled our adventures as I took my 5 kids (+ one of their friends) to Disney by myself. That got whittled down over the years to what you see today…me and the youngest 2. (My oldest son is now in college, my second oldest son is in high school sports, and my oldest daughter is in dance). They older three had schedules that just could not accommodate an off-season trip (the only time we could find flights using free miles and fitting into our Annual Pass expiration window.) So…this is going to feel kind of strange…such a small group of 3!

Before leaving for this new trip, I was frantically working to finish (or at least almost finish) my scrapbook from our last Disney trip in January of 2009 (we are using the same Annual Passes this trip.) It occurred to me that while I really like the scenic shots I’ve taken, a lot of my pictures are…well...the same. The same castle shots…the same Epcot shots...etc. I really love photography and scrapbooking, but my enthusiasm was just not there to do plan for another similar scrapbook.

So I got the idea to try something new…something to have a fresh perspective. I decided to pay attention to, and photograph, the “little details” that make the Disney parks so special….small things I may not have noticed before. This meant we would need to ‘slow down’ and really take notice of things. So with that in mind…off we go… for a glorious 2-week trip to Disneyworld!

blestmom 02-04-2010 01:53 AM

DAY 1:
Getting to Disneyworld from Alaska is such a long journey. It involves two very long flights. We left Anchorage quite early in the morning (we didn't go to sleep the night before), and arrived in Orlando at 10:00 p.m. We got our luggage, and started looking for Magical Express. The paperwork from the travel agent never showed up, and I had forgotten that the Magical Express area was in the other side of the terminal.

(Speaking of paperwork, I brought along my trusted planner. It’s kind of a hodge-podge of things I’ve put together of bits and pieces that have worked for me…A Passporter binder, filled with hole-punched manila envelopes. On the outside I print out planner sheets from TourGuide Mike that list daily plans, budgets, etc. On one side of the envelope I write down $$ spent, and on the other side I write down interesting tidbits that happened during the day. On the inside, I put any information that is needed for that day (reservation #’s, notes on a particular park, etc.) I take that information out when needed and use that day. Then at the end of the day, I stick all my receipts, memorabilia (ticket stubs, unused Fastpasses, etc.) in there. Before bed each night, I spend a few minutes getting caught up, and then everything is ready for me to go when I get home and want to scrapbook. I could never remember it all, so it helps to write it down.

Poor kids. After such a long flight, I'm asking them to haul their luggage and carry-ons around while I look for the Disney bus. We finally find the right area, and are pleased to get loaded on the bus right away. The Disney magic sets in immediately, and I feel so relieved that the long day of travel is over.

We are staying at Pop Century.

When we arrive, I asked the front desk Cast Member if it was possible to get a room in the 50’s building. After a quick phone call to someone, he gets us a great room, and off we go!

We are pretty tired, so after unpacking (and watching the first of about a gazillion episodes of “The Suite Life On Deck”) we go to sleep.

blestmom 02-04-2010 02:50 AM

DAY 2:
We slept in a little bit, being we hadn’t slept in about 24 hours, but we were so excited to get going. We did, however, choose to keep it a shorter day, so we headed over to my favorite park…Animal Kingdom.

I had kept up with weather reports, so I told the kids to bring their winter coats, along with gloves, hats and ear muffs. Good thing I did…it was COLD!

Princess waiting for the Animal Kingdom bus…

Since this is a 2-week trip, I’m not going to give a detailed report of what we did every day. That would be long, and rather boring! So instead, I’m going to share some of my favorite “detail” photos of each day...and maybe few other photos as well.

Day 2 Photos -

We spent a lot of time on the animal trails:

I took this while waiting outside a restroom for my kids. Never know where you'll find beauty!

This was a hood ornament on a parade vehicle:

I love the Animal Kingdom parade:

To eat that day:

Egg rolls -

and fried rice -

blestmom 02-04-2010 04:45 AM

DAY 3:

A Magic Kingdom day! We got up bright and early to catch the opening, which was really fun.

The only ‘glitch’ we hit was about lunchtime. I had been looking forward to a quiet lunch at the Columbia Harbor House…one of my favorite Magic Kingdom restaurants. No sooner had we sat down at a table upstairs by the window, when Princess said those dreaded words: “Mom, I don’t feel so good.” I took one look at her and knew we had to get out of there…quick. We packed up our food as best we could, and I announced that I thought it best if we headed back to the hotel to rest. Princess felt really bad, like she was ruining the trip. I assured her that we were all very tired, and we could use the rest from the long travel.

We got back to Pop Century, put on pajamas, drew the curtains, crawled into bed…and all of us slept for three hours! We really were tired, I guess. We got up and got ready to head back to the Magic Kingdom…all refreshed and feeling great. I highly recommend if you feel like you are just too exhausted to have a good time…go back and sleep for a bit if you can. It made a world of difference. She wasn’t sick…just worn out.

Day 3 photos –

This guy was amazing...


From the Swiss Family Treehouse...

blestmom 02-04-2010 02:15 PM

DAY 4 - Disney Studios/Epcot

Disney Studios is Princess’s favorite park. She loves the theater and musicals, so she can’t wait to get there. But it is cold…freezing cold. Those poor people in the marathon during this weather. Today we put our parkas, ear muffs, hats and gloves to good use. Hey, it’s better than rain!

It was so cold, the ‘extras’ picked for the Indiana Jones show were all bundled up under their costumes. I loved the guy with the Mickey gloves. Kind of lends a sort of authenticity to the scene, don’t ya’ think?

One bummer is they said it was too cold to do the beginning opening scene with Indy and the ball, etc. and also to do the last scene with the plane. So…it was a pretty boring show, and we decided to try again another day.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid:

Characters from “Up”:

The Pixar Lamp came out and did a little ‘dance’…

Next it’s off to Epcot. We wanted to ride Test Track before it went down for refurbishment. There so much detail to look at while waiting in line (except, there hardly was a line!)

Surprisingly, Mr. Energy loved “Living With the Land” so much he’s asked if we could come again and take the behind-the-scenes tour.

After a quick stop at Club Cool…

…it’s off to the World Showcase. I can tell the kids are getting tired, so I don’t think it’s going to be a long day today. I guess jet lag still hasn’t worn off.

So much detail put into the World Showcase…

From Mexcio…

From Norway…

(His eyes look kind of creepy so close up…)

Christmas decorations were still up…


From the miniature train display in Germany…

From some shops in Germany:

The “pickle tree”…

(I like chocolate…)

From Italy:

The kids could barely keep their eyes open, so back to the hotel and a good night’s sleep.

blestmom 02-05-2010 03:15 PM

DAY 5 – Animal Kingdom

The kids are pretty tired today, so we slept in and headed over to Animal Kingdom for a shorter park day.

Pizzafari Restaurant

DAY 6 – Epcot

Feeling more refreshed and rested (and finally over jet lag!) the kids and I head out for a long, full day at Epcot.

We start in Future World.

A cuttlefish in the Nemo attraction:

Looked for Hidden Mickeys – these were on wall displays in the “Living Seas”…

Headed over to the World Showcase:

American Pavilion –

Canada –


Lamps in the counter service restaurant-







A&Bmama 02-05-2010 04:04 PM

I love all of your pictures.

Keep 'em coming!


grandpaof3 02-05-2010 07:25 PM

Your pictures are a great reminder of the little things that make WDW so special.

They also remind me to stay home in Jan. Our next trip will be in Aug./Sept.

blestmom 02-05-2010 07:28 PM


Originally Posted by A&Bmama (Post 35313689)
I love all of your pictures.

Keep 'em coming!


Thank you. :goodvibes

blestmom 02-05-2010 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by grandpaof3 (Post 35316446)
Your pictures are a great reminder of the little things that make WDW so special.

Yes, that's it! You know, once I opened my eyes and really started looking for details, and cool photo ops, I saw SO MUCH I've never seen before...and I've been to Disney several times. I can't wait to go back.


Originally Posted by grandpaof3 (Post 35316446)
They also remind me to stay home in Jan. Our next trip will be in Aug./Sept.

:rotfl2: Ha ha! I can understand. Although I hate heat...went once in September, and that was enough for me.

tr-ray 02-05-2010 09:06 PM

I love your pictures! They are such great shots of off-the beaten path things! :D

I hope that the weather was at least a bit warmer than Alaska for you! :)

blestmom 02-05-2010 09:32 PM


Originally Posted by tr-ray (Post 35317786)
I love your pictures! They are such great shots of off-the beaten path things! :D

Thank you.

It amazed me how much detail there really is. I used to just run through the World Showcase countries. This spent hours in them. Looking at the decor, really noticing the items in the shops, and talking with castmembers. Made it a great trip. :thumbsup2


Originally Posted by tr-ray (Post 35317786)
I hope that the weather was at least a bit warmer than Alaska for you! :)

Yes, it was. And it did warm up as the trip went on. I thought it was kind of fun, actually. I've never been in Disney with it that cold before, and it was a new experience!! I kind of thrive in the cold (I know, I'm weird!) so it was just fine with me.

blestmom 02-06-2010 01:09 AM


The kids asked if we could go explore around the hotel (Pop Century) a bit before heading over to the Magic Kingdom.

We had a nice, slow, relaxing day at the Magic Kingdom.

Casey’s –

Riverboat –


Pirates of the Caribbean –

Tom Sawyer Island –

RinkyTinkyTinky 02-09-2010 04:02 PM

I love all your pictures! I can't wait to see what else you have in store. I love photography but just don't have the equipment for the quality of pictures that you have. Keep it coming!

grandpaof3 02-09-2010 09:36 PM

Your kids at Club Cool gives me the chills. It's hard for me to imagine wearing gloves in EPCOT or anywhere in Fla.

You would be right at home in Mich. It's way below freezing and were in the middle of a snow storm.

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