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EverestSherpa 01-27-2012 03:24 PM

My First Trip Report - May 2011
Wow I know this is incredibly late, but better late than never, eh? This trip took place in May of last year. It was to celebrate the end of my Disney College Program and then pack up my stuff and head home. Only three days were supposed to be at Disney... but will we end up abiding by that rule?

The Details: 5/11/11-5/16/11.
Day 1- Arrival Day.
Day 2- Clearing out my apartment - hopefully getting to Islands of Adventure if we still had time.
Day 3- Disney Day
Day 4- Disney Day
Day 5- Disney Day
Day 6- Heading to Tampa to catch a Yankees game, then heading home.

This was less of a Disney Trip and more of a moving trip, since the drive is 22 hours back to Iowa I didn't want to do it alone so my Mom joined me. And so we have our Cast:

Ryan (Me)
Untitled by ryancbrown, on Flickr
Former CP and current Seasonal Cast Member at Walt Disney World. I live in New York City, but at the time I lived in Iowa with my family. I am the middle child, it was my Freshmen year of college and was ecstatic about getting College Credit at Disney World!!
Age: 19
Favorite Disney Park: Magic Kingdom
Favorite Disney Hotel: Grand Floridian (Never stayed there yet though)
Favorite Disney Restaurant: California Grill
Favorite Quick-Service Restaurant: Tangierine Cafe

Sara (Mom)
Untitled by ryancbrown, on Flickr
My mother lives in Iowa, along with my Brother (University of Iowa) and Sister (High School). She wasn't the biggest Disney enthusiast until a trip over Spring Break when I managed to change that. She says seeing me so happy spreads the happiness to the rest of the group. If it were up to me it be Disney for four days and no Universal, but she really wanted to go back to Wizarding World of Harry Potter since she had a bad experience when she went over Spring Break. I hadn't taken advantage of my Universal Season tickets as much as I should so I was onboard.
Age: Not allowed to say.
Favorite Disney Park: Animal Kingdom
Favorite Disney Hotel: Animal Kingdom Lodge
Favorite Disney Restaurant: Boma (noticing a trend with these answers?)
Favorite Quick-Service Restaurant: Anywhere she can get a Turkey Leg.

So now you have an idea who will be on this journey. Many surprises await us. Lots of things are decided Spur of the moment.

Will we end up making all three Disney days or venture out to other Orlando Parks instead?

Will we pack my stuff up soon enough to make it to Islands of Adventure?

What spur of the moment plans will arise?

Once all of my photos are uploaded I shall start detailing the trip so you can find out

EverestSherpa 01-30-2012 09:51 PM

Day 1!
My mother flew into MCO and rented a car. I was still at work while this was happening. It was my last day of work on the College Program and i was not only excited for that, but it had been a long times since I had seen my Mom so naturally I was happy when clock out time came around. I drove out of Animal Kingdom and oddly enough was opposite her at the stoplight turning onto Victory Way. We pulled into Pop Century and I found out she had already visited the hotel and went to the store (Target, I believe?) while she was waiting for me (she couldn't check in without my Company ID). We checked-in and got a hotel room in the 60s!! Very exciting for my Mom because she was grew up in the 60s. She had only ever stayed at Disney once before (over Spring Break). We stayed at Port Orleans - Riverside. I think she preferred POP! She loved all of the vibrant colors, it seemed much more Disney to her and she loved all the giant figures. Not to mention the price difference. For my Mom, it's either Value Resort or Deluxe. Apparently anything between isn't worth it.

We snapped some pictures on my Mom's new camera (Nikon D90). Her old camera was dying a slow death, and after half our pictures from our Spring Break Trip didn't turn out, we decided it was time for an upgrade. I had been trying to convince her to switch to digital for years.
Anyway after we settled in and explored the place a bit more, we decided to head over to Disney's Boardwalk to eat at Kouzinna by Cat Cora's (no ADR). We love Greek food, and had great expectations for this one.

Since we were on the Dining Plan, I got the most expensive item as I normally do. It's steak most of the time, which is fine by me!! Wood-grilled New York Strip Steak. I never - and i mean NEVER - eat Steak outside of Disney. Too expensive and not worth the price in my opinion (unless of course someone is cooking it at their house and it's free!!). So Disney is my chance to eat steak for a week! My Mom doesn't do Red Meats, so she got the Whole Fish which was at Market Price but it ended up being close to my Steak price.

While we were eating I asked "Why didn't Patrick come again?" (My Brother). My Mom said he had an LSAT study session, which ended up getting changed last minute. That sucked, I thought. He was already done with school and was all alone at his apartment. After some discussion, we soon decided that if it was cheap enough, we would book him a flight here last minute.
I got on my iPad for a second, and did some research and in a couple minutes I said, "We can get him here on Allegiant for 250, roundtrip". My Mom got out her phone and called my brother and asked if he wanted to come to Disney. My brother, assuming she was talking about a separate trip asked, "when?". "Tomorrow". This moment would've been perfect for Disney's new campaign with Families surprising their kids. Patrick was a little skeptical, "No, there's no way." "Yeah, Ryan already looked at the tickets, we can fly you out tomorrow morning and you can be here by noon." "So you're telling me, I could be at Disney World Tomorrow?!!" "Yes!!!" "Can me and Ryan play Midway Mania?" "Of course!" my Mom said. "Book it!!!!". Me and my Brother played Midway Mania a bunch of times over Spring Break and it is his favorite ride in all of Disney (more on that later). So within the course of a dinner, we had a new companion. So let me now introduce our new member:

Age: 21
Favorite Disney Hotel: Contemporary or Grand Floridian
Favorite Disney Park: Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom
Favorite Disney Restaurant: Le Cellier
Favorite Quick Service: Tangierine Cafe

This was all extremely spur of the moment, and it would mean that we would have to split our Disney Dining Points amongst the three of us. This would become tricky. We then decided that whoever was happiest with the cheapest menu item would order that and the other two would use the points. This turned out to work fine, mostly (although I would have liked to try a Steak at one of upcoming restaurants... more on that later).

We finished our meal with Baklava! How can you not? I also forgot to mention I had a Greek Salad (paid out of pocket) and it was wonderful. It's not the traditional greek salad you would get elsewhere, but very good. Loved Dinner, hoping to return there soon. One of my favorites now!

We walked back to the car and drove to POP! Went to sleep, for tomorrow we had a BIG DAY!

Coming Soon:
Will we be able to make it on Midway Mania? Will Patrick's flight get in on time? Will I move out of my apartment in time to pick up Patrick from the airport!?
Who will we meet at my College Program Graduation? You'll find out soon.

Seeing my Mom! Checking-In and getting settled. Dinner! Booking Patrick's Flight.

Nothing! The day was perfect.

EverestSherpa 02-06-2012 09:42 PM

Day 2 - Part 1 "The Morning"
Moving Day! We woke up early in the morning and took my Mom's rental car to the apartments. We started boxing stuff up (we would move it to the car later). Once we got hungry we decided to head outside. Disney put together a nice Graduation Party for all of the departing CM's (much nicer than my High School Graduation).

Had some excellent BBQ from a Catering Company I can't seem to remember, but it was very good. After eating I went to meet some characters!!

Then it was time for me and my Mom to continue packing. I would stay at the Party all day if I could but we needed to stick to a strict schedule to pick up Patrick in time! I started moving all of the boxes into the rental car and about an hour later we were all set. I seem to remember it taking a lot longer to pack stuff up then when I first moved in... I said one last goodbye to my roommates and once I was done we headed back to Pop to load the stuff into my car so we could make room for Patrick.

We got to Sanford Airport ten minutes before his Estimated Arrival Time...

What would happen next?
Would Patrick's plan arrive on time?
We made a BIG decision within the next hour, what was it?
Read on to find out the answers to these questions and much more.

Highlights so far: The Grad Party!! (so much fun).
Lowlights: Packing and Driving to Sanford (I wish Allegiant still flew into MCO)

aadaneboy 02-08-2012 12:31 AM

can't wait to read more. What did you do while in the CP? Wish I had known about that when I was in college. Sounds like a great experience from what I've read on other threads...


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