"Follow the bouncing ears!" - Oct 2010 solo/Dismeet TR; UPDATE 11/26
The explanation for the TR title will come later :lmao:
I just got back yesterday (around 9:30pm, thanks to a flight delay and how long Midway takes to handle luggage :headache:), and I want to get this started now so I can start working on my next PTR! :lmao:
Anyway, for those who don't know me, I'm Dana, I'm 26, born and bred in Chicago, but my heart's in Orlando. I'm a former MK CM and, not including working there, this was only my second trip and my first one staying on-site (not including the two days after my first CP when my parents and I were using comp tickets :lmao:). I have a trip to DLR planned for this coming June and another trip to WDW planned for next November (although we arrive on Halloween). I also have every intention of moving back to Orlando within the next two to three years.
My trip was from October 22-29, I stayed at Pop, and I was traveling alone, but meeting up with a bunch of Disers that I've gotten to know over the last several months. I had a fantastic time. The weather was better than Chicago (very hot, but no rain at all), I had a great time in the parks, and it was awesome meeting so many other Disers, including two in the line for the Dwarfs on the 28th!
So tug up on the yellow tab to make sure your seat belt's fastened, keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and here we go!
Chapter One - 10/22, Arrival Day, Downtown Disney
Chapter Two - 10/23, MK Evening EMH, text only because Photobucket sucks Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7
Chapter Three - 10/24, Pop, MK MNSSHP, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
Chapter Four - 10/25, Epcot, Food and Wine Festival, Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6
Chapter Five - 10/26, DHS, MK MNSSHP, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Chapter Six - 10/27, MK, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Chapter Seven - 10/28, MK MNSSHP, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Chapter Eight - 10/29, Pop, Airport, Chicago :(
New PTR links!
Friday, October 22, 2010 - Arrival Day
I had an early flight out of Midway, so guess what time I woke up?
Yes, that's right, 2:54am. I made a couple quick posts here on the Dis, got ready to go, and then had to wait about half an hour for my dad to get his stuff together and get ready to leave. He was leaving for Wisconsin that morning, so he drove me to Midway because it gave him an excuse to be out the door at 4am. We actually left at 4:15 because he was taking forever. He was just going to hunt. The truck was packed by 4, but he was lingering like always. I once missed a plane because of his lingering.
On the way down to the airport, we stopped for gas. This is me waiting for him to finish paying for it and get in the car so we can go.
We also stopped at a McDonalds drive-thru near the airport to grab breakfast. No pictures of that, but I got a sausage biscuit and hash brown with chocolate milk. My dad got the same, except his biscuit also had egg on it, and we split an extra hash brown. Those things are so bad for you, but they're so tasty!
At MDW, I waited about ten minutes to check in at the counter. I'm overweight and because of Southwest's policy toward overweight customers, I decided to go ahead and follow the rules because I was paranoid about being kicked off the plane. This means I bought two seats. When you do that, you can't check in online like everyone else, so I had to wait to check in at the counter. The lady who checked me in apparently didn't do that kind of ticket often, since she had to call for help to do it.
Of course, my gate was all the way at the end of the Southwest concourse. Oh well. Such is life. The funny thing is that I arrived at the same gate yesterday!
I stopped at the gate desk to get my blue sleeve to preboard, since with the Customer of Size ticket, you're allowed to preboard due to needing two seats together. After all, wouldn't it suck to have to ask someone to move because the only seats available were one in the front and one in the back?
I sat down at the gate around 5:30am and just read until they started boarding. I was the second passenger on the plane, after an elderly gentleman with a rollator. I sat on the right side of the plane in the very first row. As per Nermel9's request, I tried to sit with the armrest down, just to check, but that wasn't happening. I've gained quite a bit of weight since the last time I flew before this trip, so I'm definitely going to start working on that. The flight attendants on that segment of the flight were great.
I had a layover in Baltimore and the first flight had been delayed about 20 minutes due to frost on the wings. The second one was also delayed by about an hour, so I figured I'd go get something to drink. No sooner had I stepped into a line than they made an announcement that the flight was now boarding at a gate on another concourse due to an equipment change. I sat in the first row on the left side of the plane this time and, by the time everyone had boarded, I was sharing the row with another young woman traveling alone. We wound up spending the whole flight talking and exchanged Twitter information. Speaking of which, I forgot to add her.
The third flight segment (Jackson to Orlando) was completely packed, except for my fat seat. It was nice being comfy on a sold out flight :lmao: It was expensive, but I do think it was worth it so that I wasn't uncomfortable or stressed about being asked to leave.
The flight was scheduled to land at 3, but because of the delays, we finally landed around 3:30 or 3:45. I headed straight for the DME counter and missed the Pop bus by about 30 seconds. The next came about 5 minutes later, so I got on that one.
It stopped at CBR first, then Pop. I'd done online check-in, so I only spend about 5-10 minutes at the desk before I had my packet. I was in the 70s, in 6314. The view was of a giant yo-yo and the lake, and was actually quite nice. It was also very close to Classic Hall and the buses. The room was ready when I got there, around 5pm, and I spend a little time unpacking my carry-on.
I left around 5:30 for Downtown Disney, having completely forgotten that it was Friday night. It was PACKED.
I spent about an hour walking around before I stopped at Guest Relations to upgrade my ticket and later stopped at Candy Cauldron. Except for airplane peanuts, I hadn't eaten in 12 hours. I got a chocolate covered strawberry and the CM asked what kind. I told her to pick, as I didn't care because it was strawberries and chocolate. She gave me the biggest berry in the case :lmao: It was white chocolate drizzled with white and milk. The whole thing was half the size of my palm.
After another shop, I went to Raglan Road to wait for my reservation.
The service was excellent. My ADR was for 7:30, but I checked in at 7:10 and was sat almost immediately. The food was great and the atmosphere was so much fun. I was in and out in less than an hour. We're definitely hitting this place again in 2011 when I come back with my best friend and her husband.
Brown bread. I didn't get a picture of the oil.
Fish and chips. VERY good. I'd never had fish and chips before (fish sticks and fries don't count), and this was awesome.
Dunbrody kiss. This thing was amazing, omg.
I really can't say enough good things about my dinner at Raglan Road. The food was excellent, the service was good, and the atmosphere was fun. We're definitely going back.
After that, I bought a gift for a friend in their shop before I wandered around a little more and apparently stopped at Goofy's, because I have a picture of cupcakes!
I thought they were cute.
I realized I was crashing, so I got on the bus back to Pop. I bought a few things at the gift shop (mouse ears, a lanyard, and some pins, as well as a couple things I'd forgotten), and then went back to my room. My bag showed up while I was gone, so I unpacked it. It had been searched by the TSA, probably because I had glow sticks in it. I put on the TV for a while and then went to bed around 11:30pm.
I'M HERE! Oh man, am I first?! WOO HOO!! :banana:
I have been waiting on this TR! popcorn::
Yup, you're first! :yay: I'm flattered that you've been waiting for this tr! :lmao:
Dang! I wanted to be first! Lol, ok, I am second!!!!
I liked your pic of the goofy fountains... brought back memories of Jack running through them! :lmao:
Yay you started!!! :cool1: I've been waiting all week for this! :rotfl:
Glad you've started! we went to Raglan road on our firrst night too and loved it! what did you think of the irish dancing? the restaurant was far larger than i had imagined! and like you our service was absolutely amazing! not too many bars like raglan road in my neighbourhood!:lmao:
looking forwrd to reading more!
You've forced me to follow your TR now. Everytime I see your title, I hear "Follow the bouncing Figment!" and that song gets stuck in my head! Eek! Thank goodness I love that one. :rotfl:
Sounds like an interesting trip!!
I'm subbing. I've always wanted to take a solo trip, but I've never been able to. I want to work up the nerve to do it. Many props! Can't wait to hear more.
I'm here too! Been gone all day so I had no hope of being one of the first! So why change to a TR instead of convert the PTR to a TR?
I'm still learning....that's what Sharon did back in May and I was thinking I would just do the same so as not to lose the few subscribers that I have on my PTR....
Just curious and trying to learn the whole etiquette and lay of the land thing....
My building was actually right next to them, which was kind of neat. If I'd had a kid with me, it would have been perfect :)
Anyway, nice to see you here! I had a good trip :) I'm used to traveling alone, and I'm very used to being at Disney alone, thanks to being a former CM, so this was a no-brainer for me :)
I hope your concert was fun! :yay:
Okay, this is ready to post, so I'm just gonna go ahead and put this up. The photos are STILL uploading, so once they're done, I'll put them up.
Saturday, October 23, 2010 - Magic Kingdom, Evening EMH
Despite wanting to sleep in, I somehow woke up around 8:30am :eek: I couldn't get back to sleep, though. I work night shift, so once I'm up, I'm up, which is very annoying and makes naps nearly impossible. I got up and got ready to go, then ran to Everything Pop to get MORE things I'd forgotten. The night before, I'd forgotten a bottle of lotion and something else I don't remember right now, but the next day, I realized I'd brought my contacts and the solution... But not the case or my eyedrops or my sunglasses. So there went about $30 just on that. The sunglasses alone were $25. Ah well. Such is life, right?
After that, I went to the ticket desk and picked up my MNSSHP tickets before heading out for Magic Kingdom. I got on the bus just after 10 and was walking into the park around 10:20.
If anyone's wondering why I have times, it's because I was keeping a detailed trip journal for the first few days... Then I forgot about it :lmao:
I walked through the park, looking at everything and taking pictures, and eventually wound up on Haunted Mansion. This is my favorite ride in all of WDW. When I was working at MK, my old manager took a group of us on a brief tour of it one night after hours, which was awesome. I don't think he was really supposed to, but he did things like that all the time. I loved that manager :lmao:
After Haunted Mansion, I went through Fantasyland and bought a hot fudge brownie sundae at Mrs Potts. After eating it, I made my way back up to Main Street and sat down near the Exposition Hall to wait for my ADR at Tony's. It was for 12:25, I checked in at 12:10, and was seated at 12:15. I had a table in the corner of the porch overlooking Main Street, and had a great view. I was even able to see the beginning of the Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party thing from my seat.
The server was Kim and was very good. I knew what I wanted, so I ordered right after I was seated. I guess they get orders for the chicken parmigiana a lot, since I was served at 12:19. The portion was huge, though, and I couldn't eat all of it. It was good, except for the garlic bread, which if I'd hit you over the head with, you would have been knocked unconscious. I only took one bite, since I lost one tooth recently and didn't need to lose any more.
After lunch, I watched the end of the Move It parade, then hopped on the railroad over to Frontierland. I walked through it and Adventureland, across the hub, and into Tomorrowland. Now that I'm re-reading that, I have no clue why I didn't just take the train to Tomorrowland :lmao: Anyway, the line for the TTA was insane for some reason, so I went on Carousel of Progress instead. When I got off, the line for the TTA had just about disappeared, so I went on that. It was a nice ride. After exiting that, I got in line to see Chip and Dale, as I was ordered by my mom to collect as many character pics and autographs as possible for my niece, who just turned 4 last month. Chip and Dale were cute. I have pics on Photopass with them, so that'll come later.
I went up to Main Street then to find a spot for the 3:00 parade and wound up sitting in front of the Bakery.
I spent a couple hours after the parade just wandering around. I'd been texting with HeatherBelle614 (known as Heather from now on) and we just kept missing each other. I watched the castle show (aka, Dream Along With Mickey, which I never actually call it), then sat down in the hub under a tree for a bit to write in my trip journal. I texted a picture of the castle to my sister (my niece's mom) and not two minutes later, my cell phone's ringing. It's my niece, and she's saying, "You're at Barbie's house, come and get me!" She doesn't quite understand distance yet, nor can she say Cinderella. She calls the princesses Pink Barbie (Aurora), Blue Barbie (Cinderella), Yellow Barbie (Belle), etc. Part of that is because my sister isn't really into the whole Disney thing, and they live in Boise, ID, so I don't really get to influence her :rolleyes1 Anyway, I promised to take her here one day, which works out because we're planning a family reunion at WDW in 2012.
Finally, I wandered into Liberty Square and was contemplating getting on the Riverboat when I got a text from Heather. We managed to finally meet up outside the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, although neither of us remembered what the other looked like :laughing: She found me because of the lime green Mickey head in my lanyard holder. After that, we proceeded to head to Pirates.
After Pirates, we went to Haunted Mantion and went on that and I gave them trivia about that. Did you know that if you linger in the stretching room, you can hear the gargoyles whisper to each other? :) We walked through Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, then went on the TTA again before going on Pooh. I bought a stuffed Piglet in the shop for a friend of mine and he basically became one of the trip mascots for the evening, along with Heather and Brad's safari Eeyore. We walked through to Liberty Square and sat down in front of Liberty Tree Tavern to watch the parade. We got there about 8pm and the parade was at 9. There was this super annoying kid there who kept waving his glow sword in our faces and then finally smacked Brad (Heather's husband) in the knee with it. Anyway, I honestly like Spectro better than MSEP. I don't know, it just seemed boring to me, although I liked the Pete's Dragon bit.
After the parade, we dashed back to Tomorrowland. This is where the bouncing ears come in. Now, as I mentioned, I'm a former MK CM. I worked in custodial, so going to MK with me is like being with a walking information desk. I can give directions around MK without even being there. As I'm sure some of you know, the custodial costume is one of the most noticeable in the parks because it's all white, so I had to learn as much as I could about the park. As such, I know MK like the back of my hand. I know DHS almost as well, but I don't know Epcot or DAK that well because those were the parks I spent the least amount of time in. So when we were dashing across the hub, as I'm sure you all know, it was packed with people waiting for Wishes. As such, I lost Heather and Brad a couple times and the only way they saw me was the Minnie ears I was wearing. So if they lost me, it became a game of "Follow the bouncing ears". That's where the title comes from :)
We popped into Cosmic so I could grab dinner, as they'd had an early dinner at Harbor House before we met up. I got a cheeseburger, fries, chocolate cake, and a lemonade, and then we found an interesting seat to watch Wishes from. It's also known as the handicapped ramp into the restaurant :lmao: It was an odd little view, but kind of nice. Both Heather and I had been texting with Simba22 (here on known as Ali) all night, and I'd also been texting with Nermel9 (Jen) and therussells08 (Joni), but right before the fireworks, PrincessInOz (Sharon) texted me to say that she and her husband had landed in Orlando and were on DME.
After the fireworks, we decided to check on Space Mountain again, but the wait was still outrageous, as was the wait for Buzz, so we walked down the Toontown path to see if the train was still operating to cut around to Frontierland. It wasn't, so we went to go see Mickey and Minnie's houses instead. After Mickey's house, we decided to go ahead into the Judge's Tent and see Mickey, since the line wasn't too long. Minnie was there as well, so that was nice. When I went up, I thought I was done after a few pictures, but Mickey pulled me back and I'm like "Oh, I thought I was done!" Heather and Brad have a funny story about their meet, though :lmao:
While we were in line, Alie had texted us that she was on her way to MK, so we told her we were in Fantasyland, since that was where we were headed next. We were going to go on Small World, but we weren't sure if we'd be out in time to meet her and Lumar (her boyfriend), so we instead went on into Liberty Square and rode Haunted Mansion again. After we exited, Ali texted again to say she was on Main Street, so we sat in front of Harbor House to wait for her. Once we'd all met up, we went on Haunted Mansion again and I told Lumar all the trivia I know about the ride, since it's his favorite ride as well. We then headed into Adventureland so they could all get Dole floats. I didn't get one, as I don't like pineapple. Once the ice cream was done, EMH had started, so Ali handed out glow sticks and we went on Jungle Cruise. We had an excellent skipped.
We then went to Frontierland and rode Splash, and Ali bought the photo. Speaking of which, I need to PM her my address :lmao: After Splash, we went on Thunder Mountain, then headed for Fantasyland. We went on Small World and then went to Tomorrowland to see about Buzz and Space again. Space was still outrageous, so we went on Buzz. I sucked and only got 1800 points. After Buzz, we went on the TTA again and then headed up Main Street in search of a snack for Lumar and Ali. On the way there, we stopped to do a couple Photopass shots. One of them is awesome, and I won't tell about it until I get the picture to show it. We wound up in the Bakery and they got these enormous ham sandwiches, and I got an apple juice, since I was thirsty and didn't want water.
Once we were done there, it was almost 3am, so we continued up Main Street, stopped to watch the Kiss Good Night, and then headed for the buses. The first thing I did when I got back to my room was take my contacts out and wash my face.
Then I passed out. :faint:
We had a GREAT trip! I love the title, too! I'm trying to figure one out for mine!
I'm glad you guys had a great trip as well! :) :lmao: I thought you'd like the title :teeth: It took me a while to decide on it, but I like it :) Let me know when you start yours and I'll come subscribe!
Okay, so the pictures are done uploading, but there are 231 of them just from 10/23. Some of them didn't upload, though, because of the massive amount of data I was putting into Photobucket, so I'm missing 33 pictures. Plus, I can only put 25 pics in a post. So they're coming in little by little.
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