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jegsnakkernorsk 06-10-2011 07:57 PM

Technical Difficulties - Two Sisters take on WDW- update 6/18 typhoon lagoon
Unlike some DIS posters I won't make you wait until the end of the trip report to learn the inspiration for the title of this TR. And against all better judgement, here's the link to the brilliant YouTube video DSis and I were lucky enough to see before our trip (some stronger language is in the clip).

This is my very first trip report and you are welcome to read my very first Pre Trip Report by clicking on my signature. Otherwise I won't bore you with my who, when, why and where.

So are you with me? Let's get started there's hundreds of photos to go through and tons of Technical Difficulties along the way, but don't worry nobody died on this trip report.

jegsnakkernorsk 06-10-2011 08:10 PM

Taking off and first technical difficulty
It all starts Thursday, June 2nd.

4:45am wake up – My mind is preoccupied with my job interview which will take place the morning after I get back! But I groggily get dressed and head down stairs to the kitchen. Then because my mind is still not awake I decide to start putting away clean dishes from the washer instead of packing my phone that was sitting on the kitchen counter where it was still plugged into the charger! I was halfway done with the dishes when my DSis called out that the cab had arrived. Already!? Boy was I out of it.

At the gate I grabbed a small Coke and hash brown from McDonald’s and tried to e-mail my mentor using my laptop with some thoughts about my upcoming interview, but the wifi was down – the first of many technical difficulties. And that is when I realized I forgot my blackberry! 5 days without my blackberry, could I survive??

I had my laptop and my DSis had her phone but I would be mostly cut off. Very scary but that meant I would truly be on vacation and DSis would not be annoyed by me checking email instead of talking to her while in lines. My DSis was only concerned that we would not be able to use the WDW queue times App, which we had downloaded special for the trip!

The plane was nearly empty so we got as much peanuts, biscuits, and pretzels as we could want. I just put one of each in my purse for later!
Reading the inflight magazine, I was quickly reminded how everyone else can't travel without their blackberry (or smart phone).:headache:

jegsnakkernorsk 06-10-2011 08:22 PM

Get in line!
Magic express – actually was magically express. We didn’t wait too long to board or to take off to the World. We stopped at Pop Century first. The most magical part was that we were an hour ahead of our itinerary!
Here's the Magic Express bus in action!

We got in line for online check in – this took a while. There was a woman with two kids who got upset that DSis had cut in front of them but we couldn’t tell she wasn’t with the family at a counter since they were in front of the stanchions and honestly were so close to the family checking in that no one would have known they weren’t all the same house-hold. When I saw her motion her frustration we figured out that she was waiting and let her go ahead of us. To which she then said she didn’t need to go ahead of us, but I insisted. Do people not have banks or airline check in lines where they come from? How can you not know to stand behind the end of the stanchion for the next available counter and not stand directly behind someone at a counter? And then how can you throw a temper tantrum and then act all embarrassed when someone tries to help you – oh well, perhaps it was a long morning for her and her two kids and she just wasn’t thinking.

So after a few minutes a new counter opened and our girl was being trained – we were clearly the first guests she had ever talked to - but the trainer got us a room that was already ready – this was at 10:30 am. And she got our separate credit cards on each Key to the World card. We were confused on how to get to our room – 5661 Aruba (CBR is really big!). We took a bell hop – a passenger van just for us and our one carryon bag. The guy was from Haiti and nice. He drove us to Aruba and then took us up to our room. We probably wouldn’t have found it without him or a lot of wandering around. Our room is a corner room on the second floor. Very near to the bus stop but on the side facing a courtyard – not the parking lot. our standard nemo room on the bed spread

now back to the itinerary:

jegsnakkernorsk 06-10-2011 08:28 PM

Day One Itinerary Card
We had lamenated itinerary cards for each day. We did this so that we always had some idea of what we could do and so we would pace ourselves - and also to keep track of all those free meals and free snacks!
Here's a photo:

Thursday, June 2 – Magic Kingdom Credits: 20QS - 20S
6:49 Leave DCA for Orlando (Conf# GFON5R, Delta 2073, Seats 19E, 19D)
9:30 Arrive MCO
10:30 Magic Express Bus to Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR)
11:30 Check-in at CBR
12:00 Lunch CBR; Free mug for soda, get bottled water w/ Lunch 2QS
1:30 Bus to Magic Kingdom (MK)
2:30 Arrive at MK – Shops and Vehicles
5:00 Flag Retreat and brass band
5:40 Dinner at Cosmic Rays 2QS
6:00 Tomorrowland – People Mover
6:45 Main Street shops and vehicles
7:30 Main Street Ice Cream Shop 2S
8:00 Get spot on Main Street near Casey’s HotDogs for parade and fireworks
9:00 Disney’s Electric Parade
10:00 Wishes Nighttime Spectacular Fireworks; Kiss Goodnight
10:40 Kiss Goodnight
11:00 Return to CBR

jegsnakkernorsk 06-11-2011 06:42 PM

Taking a break at CBR
I put on a bathing suit that I had in my backpack.
We walked (5 mins) to Caribbean Cay and saw a lot of local wildlife – ducks, turtles, dive-bombing birds, fish. george! (that's what I used to call lizards as a kid) if you see this bird - run
We picked up our free refillable resort mugs and filled them up with sodas.
I went into the hot tub behind the fort and it was empty. DSis called mom from the pool side.
We relaxed and forgot about our real lives as we sat by the water and watched rented boats go by.

We then had lunch at the food court. Click here for food photos and commentary.

jegsnakkernorsk 06-11-2011 06:50 PM

Off to Magic Kingdom
We returned to our room to find that my suitcase magically arrived and I unpacked and showered and dressed for the park. We went to the bus stop and on to Magic Kingdom on time according to our itinerary. (We're such geeks!)

We got to the park at 2pm – fireworks at the castle (for a show) went off right as we got to the park on the bus. We immediately took the train around 1.5 times. The park was packed. All the park guests were super sweaty and cranky. We got off at Frontierland the second time around.

We got a Big Thunder Mountain Fastpass as we walked by. Then we walked on the boardwalk part – it was so crowded everywhere and so hot. We got on the riverboat, sailing by an old settlers cabin and an Indian Encampment. I also swear I saw a swamp person (from the History Channel Show).

jegsnakkernorsk 06-11-2011 06:56 PM

Creeping around the new Haunted Mansion Cemetery
We then headed over to the Haunted Mansion! The line was really long but we enjoyed the scenic way – spent 15 minutes just there – the Imagineers were giving a VIP tour behind us. The new interactive queue is really fun.
Try finding the cat on the tombstone!

Then we tried heading back to Frontierland to use our fast passes but the parade had just finished and it was too crowded to get there. So we went across the park to Tomorrowland.

We got on the people mover after a wait in line – imagine a line for the people mover! The ride sped up faster than we remembered. Going through the part overlooking Buzz Lightyear inspired us to get fast passes for that.

jegsnakkernorsk 06-11-2011 07:03 PM

Flag ceremony and Coke floats
Then we headed to Main Street where we caught the Main Street Philharmonic (who are so talented and entertaining)and went into the Emporium looking for D&B purses but they are across the street now. I picked out my 40th anniversary cross the body bag, which I paid for almost entirely with gift cards.

Then it was time to use the first of our many snack credits. We decided to get floats in the Main Street ice cream shop with snack credits – coke for me and root beer for DSis with Eddy’s vanilla ice cream. Lots of earning ears cast members – two of them were needed to take the two floats from one counter to another and they didn’t know to distinguish between the Coke and root beer, so we were left to figure it out by taste – of course we got each other’s!
We then watched the flag ceremony. DSis said she was now a Main Street Philharmonic groupie as we got to see them again. The flag ceremony was really special and the first time I had made a point to watch it. I am glad they still do this and I’m so glad I put it on the itinerary to do! They select a couple kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

We went to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear using our fast passes – two minutes later we were on the ride and DSis was kicking my butt. I didn’t know to aim for the z at first and I was about 5,000 points behind her in the first 30 seconds. Even with her trigger finger getting sore I couldn’t catch up. She didn’t like me spinning the vehicle when we got stopped along the track. Guess Bonine will be required for Star Tours for tomorrow!

jegsnakkernorsk 06-11-2011 07:17 PM

Big Fun on Big Thunder
After our adventures with Buzz, we headed to Fronterland to ride Big Thunder Mountain with fast pass – due to the Disney magic and illusion the line looked longer than Standby, but it wasn’t. It was maybe 5 minutes and Standby was over an hour. We actually got the front row!

jegsnakkernorsk 06-11-2011 07:28 PM

argh - having technical difficulties with photobucket resizing images. not sure how long this ride will be down...

jegsnakkernorsk 06-12-2011 12:24 PM

We then went for dinner at Columbia Harbor House, where we had read on DIS that it is a great place to relax and have a nice non burger meal. Click on the lime green for a link to the photos and details!

We then headed to Pirates of the Caribbean. Almost there we were looking at hats when DSis realized she left here’s at dinner. I sat in the underpass between Adventureland and Liberty Square and she came back with the hat – someone had placed it on top of the table. Not like the time she left her camera in a National Park and even though she could see the camera, three rangers and about 20 forms had to be involved and the camera had to be mailed to her home address!
hat found!

Technical Difficulties – Pirates was closed.

So we climbed Swiss Family Tree House. It was a little cooler now and not terribly crowded in Adventureland.
nice to visit the tree house in the evening when the sun is a little lower in the sky.

jegsnakkernorsk 06-12-2011 12:45 PM

Drama filled fireworks
Back on Main Street, DSis looked at jewelry but decided not to buy anything.
CottonCandy lady - she was mean and didn't let us buy her fresh stuff!

We continued to looked at shops until it was time to get our spot on Main Street in front of Casey’s hot dogs down near the spoke.

All the front rows were taken and we took the spot behind a garbage can. A lot of people try to squeeze in last minute and one mom even left her little kids (under 8) for an hour in front of the garbage can. A CM told the kids they couldn’t sit in front of the garbage cans so they left to find their parents. Dad returned a little while later and started yelling and swearing at the harmless older woman and her nice teenagers who had been sitting on the curb for a good two hours. He was screaming that someone had chased his kids away, but the crowd yelled back at the guy that it was a CM that said it wasn’t allowed to sit where the kids were left. For the past hour we all had been free babysitters for him and Mrs. Parent of the Year. I suppose when you sit by a garbage can should expect to see trash. :)

We had a great view from behind the garbage can of the elecctic parade.
We also were well positioned for the Magic Memories and You (which was more impressive than I imagined) and Wishes Fireworks.

We then held our ground as throngs of people left the park at closing. We stood behind the garbage can for some protection! We continued to wait long after the 10pm closing until 11:10 for the Kiss Goodnight but never saw it. There were a few others waiting for it too but it became apparent that they weren’t playing it that night so we headed to the bus – hoping there would still be a bus. It was very eerie walking down Main Street with so few people and the shops all closed!

We ended up on the second to last bus after waiting as three buses loaded. I was surprised that there was still such a line for the bus but I was glad that I was in the park instead of waiting in line for the bus all that time! The buses did come fast – they were no more than 5 minutes apart from each other but there are a lot of people staying at CBR so it still takes well over an hour to load everyone after the park closes.

We got home, showered and went to bed. Magically the stairs that weren’t too bad earlier were much longer and steeper at midnight.:)

jegsnakkernorsk 06-13-2011 08:55 AM

Day Two Itinerary
Friday, June 3 – Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekend
Credits: 16QS - 18S
6:30 Breakfast CBR – Market Street 1QS
7:00 Bus to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (DHS)
9:00 Park opens – stand to right for Toy Story FP
9:15 FP for Toy Story
9:30 Star Tours –Standby
9:45 Rockin’ Rollercoaster – standby
10:00 Beauty and Beast (sit to the right)
11:15 Pick up Tower of Terror FP
11:30 Starring Rolls Bakery 2QS
12:00 Get spot for parade
12:40 Star Wars Motorcade
1:30 Oasis Canteen outside Indiana Jones 2S
1:40 Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular – sit in center
2:45 Ride Toy Story with FP
3:30 One Man’s Dream
4:00 Magic of Disney Animation
4:20 Tower of Terror ride w/ FP
4:45 Bus to CBR
6:00 Pool/beach
7:00 Dinner CBR, Use free mug for soda, get bottled water w/dinner 2QS
7:30 Old Port Royal pool time/watch Illuminations from beach

jegsnakkernorsk 06-13-2011 11:00 AM

Day Two Dawns
DSis woke up at 5:45am! I took bonine for motion sickness in anticipation of riding Star Tours 2.0. We walked across the island and over to Old Port Royal for breakfast.

Once inside we were confused by conflicting signs that said breakfast was at 7. It was 6:45 and after a couple minutes standing in front of the Broiler section I went over to the Pizza station and found that they serve breakfast starting at 6:30am at that station.

We got the breakfast Isle Bounty (to split) and one bottle water with two cups of ice. We would have eaten outside but it was too wet at the tables.

jegsnakkernorsk 06-13-2011 11:21 AM

Star Wars Weekend!
We took the bus from Old Port Royal. The park opening was 9am but we were on the bus at 7:08 am in anticipation of the Star Wars Weekend crowds.

We got to the park and saw the line for fastpasses for the stars autographs on the far right side but went straight to the turnstiles on the right and got up front – first at the stalls.

The cast member, Warner, said we were fine standing there and that it would be a great view of the cast members (stormtroppers) but then Les changed the sign to “event” entrance and we had to move over. We still were near the front and were behind only one family to get in. The entry area was packed before 8am.

The only problem with the location was that you could not see or hear the opening ceremony which was taking place above our heads on the roof.

After the opening ceremony in which we did hear the storm troopers taunt us about letting us in, they opened the park an hour early at 8am! No ropes were involved.

We all walked towards Star Tours – cast members were directing moms with little boys to the place to sign up for Jedi training at Sounds Dangerous. But we continued past to Star Tours where I got fast passes.

We were going to TSM but DSis heard from a cast member that the ride was closed so we decided to ride Star Tours Standby. But at that time it was really – walk through. We got to be in the third row of the F star tours vehicle. We ran into the same family that stood in front of us at the park entry. I guess they had the same idea! The cast member said DSis and I could pick a row – any row, which was cool. we picked this row.

During our experience we saw Princess Leia and ended in a city almost running over the landing crew! It is 3D and feels like it moves a lot for a simulator! But the Bonine worked I didn’t get sick. We both liked it better than the original.

The streets of New York were entirely empty!

We went by TSM but it was still closed – and empty . The cast member said it was closed for technical difficulties and I jokingly asked if someone had died. See the you tube video: Technical Difficulties

So we headed on to Tower of Terror with its “13 minute wait”. We were one of five people on the ride. It was as much fun as ever. Love the details in the hotel lobby and elevator.

Next we road Rocking Rollercoaster standby. It said 20 minute wait but it was more like five – actually it was faster than riding it fastpass later.

Then we went to Jabba’s Hut and stood in line to buy the t-shirt for a cousin. DSis didn’t see anything she wanted. It was really busy but could have been worse. We later saw the same t-shirt in one of the other shops, so unless you are going specifically for one of the collectables or limited edition items it is best to skip the special Star Wars store and just buy a star wars souvenir from one of the other stores at the park.

Enough time had now gone by that we could get another fastpass – 9:25 so we picked up Toy Story ones but they were for 4pm! The ride was still closed and the line of people just waiting for it to open stretched all the way to the Coke watering station.

DSis bought me a souvenir t-shirt – Toy Story Mania ham and eggs – for being the first one of us to 100 posts on DIS.

And I stopped to pose for this...
and DSis for this...

We then walked back to Lights Camera Action for the bathroom – empty!
Tell me, have you ever seen a Disney bathroom look like this?

There was a Star Wars character in the streets of New York for photos. Actually the Star Wars Characters (not the actual stars) were distributed around the park which was nice for crowd control.

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