Two Castaways: WDW+DCL = Dream Vacation! August 17-26, 2012 TR Updated 9/4
Hi everyone!! It's Andrea here again with another Trip Report for you all! If you got a chance to read my Alaska Cruise TR, Thank you so much, I had such wonderful comments and questions from all of you that I was excited to write another trip report. This one is going to be a tad bit different because it was more of a relaxing vacation, so I don't have a lot of video and as many photos as the Alaska Trip, but I do still have plenty for you all to look at, photos, navigators, and so much more! Look for the links below as I post them ;) So, I hope you enjoy this Trip Report!
Atlanta, GA - Walt Disney World (Bay Lake Tower) - Disney Dream (5 Night) - Walt Disney World (Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village)
August 17-26, 2012
List Of Links!!
Pre-Trip Report Link
Thoughts I Had and Couldn't Remember
August 17, 2012:
The Dodger Blues
August 18, 2012:
In Brightest Day
August 19, 2012:
Disney Dream Please Welcome Aboard The Chronister Family
Busy Day Sailing Away
August 20, 2012:
Konk Koolers & Gold Doubloons
Sunburns, Solarcaine, & Snails
August 21, 2012:
A Day At Sea...In Port!
Navigators And Other Cruise Documents
August 19, 2012 - Navigator
Page One - Page Two - Page Three - Page Four - Page Five - Page Six
August 20, 2012 - Navigator/CC Map
Page One - Page Two - Page Three - Page Four - Page Five - Page Six - CC Map
August 21, 2012 - Navigator
Page One - Page Two - Page Three - Page Four - Page Five - Page Six
Thoughts I Had and Couldn't Remember
I want to start this Trip Report by letting you all know why I decided to start writing Trip Reports. Lots of us have different reasons for writing them. Some of us like to help other people out with information, some write them for their own benefit, some...write them to complain, and some write them to praise! I have been on a number of vacation in my 27 years of life and let me tell you, I cannot remember most of the details of them. Sure, I have photos, videos, and vague recollection but I wanted more! I wish I had started them sooner, Jeremy and I will have conversations sometimes about what we did on such and such vacation, and I won't remember most of the details. It really started to upset me after a while, so I decided to fix it! That is when Trip Reporting presented itself to me! It was a "Eureka/Hallelujah" moment! It was a way for me to have everything at my finger tips, and when I wanted to remember or relive the experience, it was all there for me to enjoy all over again!
A lot of people ask me, doesn't it take lots of time out of your day to write all of that stuff, or they say, I always forget to do it. As to the first question, if you think about a vacation, there is a lot of down time that you don't think about. At Disney World for example, you wait in lines, people go to the restroom, you sit down to eat, you wait on shows to start, you wait on parades/fireworks, you sit on a boat or monorail, you ride on a bus/car, there is a multitude of time to jot down a few notes if you think about it! The answer to the second question is really quite simple for me. It is important to me, so I don't forget to do it, it also helps that I keep my notebook and pen very easily accessible to I can grab it, jot something down, and put it back up very quickly!
SO! Now that you all know why I write Trip Reports, I hope it may inspire some of you to do the same, if not, there are always plenty of others to read ;)If you have children, it would be a great way for them to relive their vacation when they are older, and can't remember everything that happened while they were away, and for you adults out there like us, as you get older and your memories fade, you can always come back and relive them! With this all in mind, it brings me to my Trip Journal! There are so many types of journals out there, for my first one I just used a Mickey Journal I picked up at Walmart. This time around it fits in with the topic of this first post, so I wanted to share it with you all! I was on Jcrew.com looking through clearance items for our cruise and I came across this journal:
I knew I had to have it when I saw it! It was going to be perfect for me and I couldn't wait to start writing all of those thoughts inside! So now, without further ado, I present to you all the my latest vacation in Trip Report format for your reading pleasure and enjoyment! As always, I love to hear your comments and questions, I will gladly answer them as soon as I get a chance! Here we Go!
The Dodger Blues: August 17, 2012
I woke up this morning at about 6:00am! I didn't have the alarm set to go off until 7:00. We had packed everything last night, but as I was walking around the house I kept finding other things that I needed or just plain forgot about. Our original plan had us getting to the bank at 8:30 when it opened, we had a check to cash, and we also needed to have quarters and ones, for room service tips/highway tolls. That kind of didn't work out the way I had hoped, Jeremy kept finding things he needed to do before we left and then my mom pulled into the driveway to drop off her things, as I was putting the last few things of ours in the car, so that kept us a little longer as well, talking and such! We finally left the house and made it about a 1/2 mile and Jeremy realized he had forgotten the dowel for the GoPro for when we go snorkeling. So we had to turn around and go back to the house to get it! Our bank is about 7.5 miles from our house, so after we had officially left for the second time, when we were almost at the bank, he realized he forgot something else!!! However, we did NOT turn around to go back this time. We made it to the bank at 8:57 and finally got on the road at 9:06. We stopped at Hardee's (Carl's Jr. For You West Coasters), for a quick drive-thru breakfast since we were 30 minutes behind schedule. It takes about 3 1/2-4 hours to get to Atlanta depending on the traffic, so to pass the time we were being silly and filming ourselves with the Go Pro singing Call Me Maybe :rotfl2: Driving through South Carolina I happened to look up in front of me and noticed something hanging down from where the curtain airbag is!
I was like, "What The Crap", I didn't know if it was some kind of worm or even why I hadn't noticed it the whole time! Then Jeremy proceeds to tell me that he threw a banana peel out the window 2 DAYS AGO, and the banana string must have gotten stuck there, which I am sure has to be a one in a million type thing. But really, more interesting is why NEITHER of us noticed is before NOW???
We stopped to fill up the gas tank in SC. At home, at the moment, gas is $3.69 per gallon. Here, where we filled up, it was only $3.27! I mean really, $0.42 cheaper. I think that is pretty ridiculous. So we kept driving, we had planned on going to play Miniature Golf today at Pirate's Cove in Duluth, GA on the way , but when we were almost there Jeremy decided to tell me that he had not packed any pants to wear to dinner??? He only had jeans and shorts, which were just not going to work...I knew he needed a packing least geez! So that meant that instead of going to play Putt Putt, we ended up at the mall buying him a pair of pants at Express Men. Luckily, they were on clearance and then the clearance stuff was an extra 40% off!! You know what that means, I ended up getting something as well...score! We were getting a little hungry since it was after noon by now. The easiest thing to do was just stop at McDonald's and grab a quick bite. We left there, eating in the car, and made our way to our hotel for the night! We were staying at the Westin Atlanta North Perimeter. We got a great deal on Hotwire for $84, and I was very happy with that since it is a 4 Star Hotel, and BONUS they had Free Parking! We were extremely happy about that. By the time we made it up to the room it was 1:30pm! Jeremy did what he always did when we get to a hotel room...test out the bed!
We needed to leave the room by 2:00 to head to Turner Field, we wanted to try and do a Stadium Tour, of which the last was at 3:00pm! We already have game tickets and a parking pass for tonight, so at least we don't have to worry about that! With the time that we had to chill, I was able to get some trip Report notes written down...
We left the hotel right on time at 2:00pm and made it to the stadium by 2:30. Just an FYI, if you don't like driving in traffic, Atlanta is not the place for you! Jeremy HATES traffic and gets a little on edge anytime we are in Atlanta, because it doesn't matter what time of day it is, or the day of the week...the traffic is always here!!
We parked in the Green Lot (which is Free for the tour), we already had our parking pass for it as I mentioned before, so we went ahead an got it scanned since we were staying at the stadium. We didn't want to lose that fantastic parking spot, plus we love watching Batting Practice :thumbsup2 We walked straight up to the ticket window and got our Tour Tickets! Next we hung out in the Hall of Fame Museum until the tour started at 3:00! There is so much history in there, Jeremy was very surprised to see a Game Used Jackie Robinson Dodgers Jersey inside the Braves Museum, but it was there and he was ecstatic!
The tour finally started and our group was off, the very first place we went was to the field and the Braves dugout. There were already a few players on the field doing sprints and things, which was really neat to watch and be so close to them, even though we are not allowed to approach or say anything to them. Jeremy likes to pretend he is a baseball player sometimes, so I have a photo of him standing up against the rail in every dugout we have ever been on a tour to.
On this tour we were also able to see the Press Box, Suites, and the Coca Cola Skydeck which offered a really great vantage point of Atlanta. You could see the Olympic Torch from here, something else we learned while we were on the tour was that Turner Field was actually built as the Track and Field Stadium for the Olympics in 1996, but after they were over, they converted that into a baseball stadium, the original supports of the Olympic Stadium and still there surrounding the outside of the field, which is pretty awesome! Up on the sky deck they also have these really HUGE coke bottle shaped adirondack chairs, which of course we had to have a photo op with!
When the tour was completed we still had a little while until the gates opened so we went outside and found a nice place to sit in the shade, I still did apply sunscreen though, I can never be too careful about that! Oh I did forget to mention something, when we were in the press box they have televisions in there showing what is happening at the moment and Don Mattingly (Manager of the Dodgers) was on Intentional Talk which was pretty cool because we could see it on TV as well as see him on the field at the same time! A few minutes before the gates opened, we hopped up and started taking some photos around the outside of the park!
There are also a lot of statues around the outside of the Stadium and one of them features Hank Aaron, at home I happen to have a baseball signed by him that my dad got when he went to a Braves game a really long time ago at Fulton County Stadium I believe...I'll have to check the signatures on the ball to figure out the exact year it was because almost the entire team signed it...anyways, moving on. Point being...we really love Hank Aaron, and what baseball fan doesn't???
For some reason I keep forgetting to mention things, and this one made my happy so I don't know why I forgot! While we were on the tour I noticed a man wearing a DVC hat, and sure enough he was a member. I talked to him for a few minutes, but that was about it. I absolutely love the fact that you find Disney people everywhere you go!! So at 5:00 we went into the stadium, they happened to be giving out Chipper Jones commemorative posters this afternoon. We made it down to our seats just as Dodgers Batting Practice was starting! I always take TONS of photos, so I am not going to bore you guys with all of those, but if you happen to be interested in baseball photos, I will put them all on Facebook so you can click the link and enjoy. I will however, show you one photo. If any of you watched the Olympics, I am sure you have heard of Misty May-Treanor! She is a Gold Medalist in Beach Volleyball. Well...she happens to be married to Matt Treanor, who is a catcher for the Dodgers! It was always fun to watch the Beach Volleyball matches, and then when she was finished she would always say Go Dodgers!! So I did manage to get a back shot of her hubby and our backup Dodger catcher for you all :thumbsup2
So we got settled in our seats and were excited for the game to start, we happened to start talking to the couple who were sitting behind us and they only lived about 30 minutes away from where we did. I do want to give you a little background on the small town that I live in, there is one main restaurant in my town...and it is called "The Wood Shed", there is really nothing else that anyone would know Stanley for. Well, we were talking to these people and he asked me where we were from...I said near Charlotte, because that is a good reference point. Then he asked which town and when I said Stanley, he said "That's where The Wood Shed is!" I couldn't believe how strange it was for someone to know what that is...let alone where it is. So that kind of made my day. Jeremy walked up and got us some peanuts and drinks, I always have to get peanuts at a baseball game, they are my favorite! It was a fantastic game! We got to see Chipper Jones hit a home run during his last major league season which was cool! Unfortunately the Dodgers lost in 11 innings, but that was ok...it's not like we hadn't seen them lose before and we still had fun! Before the game was over a took a photo from our seats that I thought looked pretty cool, we were sitting right behind the bat boy looking down the 3rd baseline!
We didn't make it back to the hotel until Midnight. We got showers and ready for bed, while Jeremy was taking his, I took the time to write down some TR notes, and then we were ready for bed! Our "Plan" for tomorrow is to leave by 8:00 to make our way to Walt Disney World and our next home for one night Bay Lake Tower! But for now...you gotta love those Westin Heavenly Beds!
Great start! Can't wait to hear more!
I read your Alaskan cruise TR and was counting down the days til your returned from this last trip! I love your pics!!:thumbsup2 Can't wait to see how the rest of your trip wentpopcorn::
Hi Andrea! It was great meeting you on our incredible Dream cruise!! Lovin' the start of your tr can't wait to read more!!
In Brightest Day - August 18, 2012
For once we actually got up and did something on schedule! We were up and out of the hotel by 8:00am to start our drive to Walt Disney World. At about 10:00, we stopped for gas and a little breakfast before heading back down I-75, from that point we had 361 Miles to go until we got to Bay Lake.
By 1:40pm, we stopped for gas once again. To pass the time while driving Jeremy and I played what we call 'The Car Game". We start with Letter A and go through the alphabet, finding and pointing out cars with the make/model that start with the letter we are on. So for example, I would say Audi, and then BMW...etc, until we completed the alphabet, but the other person has to be able to see the car you are using/pointing out. Whoever gets finished first wins!! Well, there were a few stretches where we didn't see any for a while, but it kept us busy for a really long time! I finally won the game with a Z4, Jeremy was still stuck on Q I think...hahaha! It was fun anyway and by the time we finished playing it had started to rain a little. I was hoping that "Disney Dome" would be in full effect for us while we are there today. As of this moment we were still 82 Miles outside of Bay Lake Tower and closing in!
By 3:00 we were pulling into the parking area of Bay Lake Tower and Disney's Contemporary Resort, Jeremy let me out and I hopped out of the car to go inside and check-in. I had done online check-in so it didn't take very long at all. We got a really good parking place and started rolling our luggage up to the 7th floor! We were in room number 7723
It was a Lake View Room, they are my favorite there! We got our stuff inside, I know it looked like we were staying there for a month or something with all of the luggage we had, but hey we were gonna be gone for 10 days total, I couldn't help it...LOL! I did manage to take a few photos of the room for anyone that wants to know what they look like :thumbsup2
After we dropped our luggage off in the room we decided to head on over to Magic Kingdom. Instead of taking the Monorail, we just chose to walk, we had been in a car all day and felt like taking the leisurely stroll over there since it isn't really that far at all! Before we got to go inside we had to stop off at Guest Services to pick up our Premium Annual Passes! I love that DVC members get a discount on them because we LOVE going to the Water Parks and playing golf at Disney's Oak Trail. Also, you get great discount with the Annual Passes, so for us, it is a lot cheaper than buying tickets every time we go! PAPs in hand, we swiped and were inside the Magic Kingdom!
We walked through on the left side so we could stop by the Firehouse to get our new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Keys and Cards! We knew we wanted to play later on today, and we were very excited when we found out that they had opened Medium Level back up!! We really didn't want to play on Easy because it takes a really long time, so that was a very good bonus! Our first stop after we left there was Cosmic Ray's because we hadn't eaten since breakfast. We decided on Cosmic Ray's because Jeremy had never eaten there and we always like to try new places! While we were in line the CM taking our order asked Jeremy where his ring was (Green Lantern Ring) because he was wearing a Green Lantern Shirt! She then proceeded to recite the ENTIRE Green Lantern Oath while we were waiting on our food! It was quite awesome actually! So I ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and Jeremy had the BBQ Sandwich!
He REALLY liked Cosmic Ray's because they had a topping/condiment bar and it had pickles on it...and Jeremy is Addicted to pickles! He loves them!! While we were eating there was a little girl sitting a few tables over from us throwing a HUGE tantrum, screaming and crying...it looked liked she has been to BBB today and for some reason was just pitching a giant fit? Seriously, there is no crying at Disney World! Let alone Magic Kingdom!! Anyways, we finished our meal and walked over to grab a Fastpass for Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and then walked over to Carousel of Progress, which is my Must-Do Disney Attraction, its just one of those things that I don't feel like I have been to Magic Kingdom unless I ride it! We were walking up to the turnstile and the CM behind the counter started reading Jeremy's shirt aloud! I was thinking really people, why is this particular shirt such a topic of conversation, I have seen other shirts way more conversation worthy than that one! When we were done with Carousel we moved our way over to the TTA Peoplemover and took a little GoPro footage while we were on that one! By the time we were down the escalator ramp it was time for us to use our Buzz FPs! Let me just say, I love riding Buzz! Jeremy and I compete every time we ride it, well I bet most people do...anyway...if it is a good day, I can get Galactic Hero by the time we leave the first room, this time though I didn't get it until the volcano room.
I like getting it early because then I can take photos during the remainder of the attraction! It is one of my favorites to get photos on because of how awesome the lighting is inside there!
Poor Jeremy, he only managed to get 325,000 this time around, oh well, there is always next time! After I beat Jeremy at Buzz...mwahahahaha...:rotfl2: I wanted to go and see the new part of Fantasyland that had opened up already. Man, What a MADHOUSE it was over there! Sheesh!! It did look great though and I absolutely can't wait for the rest of it to open up! We hopped on the train at Fantasyland Station and rode it around to Frontierland because that is where our SOTMK first land/villain was! Apparently, I have some sought after Beta Cards with Round edges? Everyone wanted me to trade my cards away to them! We got our first set back in February/March right when the game was officially starting, which I guess is how I attained them in the first place! I set the clock for us to play for 1 hour, then to move onto something else!
Well both of us beat our respective villains of Frontierland right at about 7:00 which was just on time since we started at 6:00! Satisfied, we walked over to Pirates of the Caribbean and waited maybe 5 minutes max to ride. Why is it that people always follow the crowd when both sides are open? Well, I guess I shouldn't complain about it, if people just keep doing that, we won't have to wait very long! :cool1: Jeremy tried to take some more Go Pro footage, but it is very dark inside there, then we realized that the battery in it and my camera were starting to zone out a little, I was going to have to remember to charge them both before the cruise tomorrow because I definitely didn't want it to die while I was taking photos on there!
We got off of Pirates and started over toward Jungle Cruise! Before we could make it down the steps, another CM stopped Jeremy and started talking to him about Green Lantern!!! I told him that he isn't allowed to wear that shirt anymore, we will never be able to do anything at the rate people are talking to him about it! LOL!! Jungle cruise had a wait time of about 35 minutes, so we just decided to grab a FP for 8:15-9:15 since it wasn't too long away and go and get a Pineapple Float from Aloha Isle! We got one and split it between the two of us, it is definitely one of our favorite treats, along with everyone else in the know! ;) When we had finished our Float we went over to the Enchanted Tiki Room and by the time it was over we got to hop right on Jungle Cruise with our FPs! I just love the Jungle Cruise queue line, that spider is hilarious and there are so many things to look at!
When we got off Jungle Cruise Jeremy wanted to play a little more SOTMK, so we made our way over to Fantasyland, our next battle area, which is always made more difficult by parade traffic, but we did make it there by way of Liberty Square and managed to get 4 portals done before the area was closed off for the fireworks! So with that cut short we walked right onto It's A Small World with no wait at all!
Then we moved on over to Haunted Mansion. Before we went in to Haunted Mansion we started talking to the CMs attending to the attraction and asked about the Kiss Goodnight. Jeremy and I had never seen it in all of the times we had been there so we thought why not tonight! We talked to them for a good little while, about our upcoming cruise and just random other things. I love talking to Cast Members! They are so awesome and friendly, WDW is the best!
By the time we got off Haunted Mansion it was about 15 minutes until 10:00, so we found a bench over in Liberty Square to watch Wishes! I have seen Wishes from Main Street so many times, so I am finally starting to branch out with viewing locations. After Wishes we slowly made our way around to the Emporium and picked up some postcards to send out tomorrow from Main Street! Luckily, I packed my PIXAR stamps from home so we are all set stamp wise! I don't really know why I have never stayed long enough to see the Kiss Goodnight, but I really wanted to. We found us a nice spot near Roy and waited for it! It didn't take too long because they did it at 10:40. Jeremy seemed disappointed by it and though there would be more to it. We were finally ready to leave Magic Kingdom. Luckily, we were staying within walking distance because closing Monorail lines are horrendous! We got up to the room by 11:10 and Jeremy decided he was hungry, so he made a quick run down and over to Contempo Cafe and grabbed some chips and a rice krispie treat. Great midnight snack I know! Now it's time for showers and bed, after all we have a Cruise to catch tomorrow!!pixiedust:
Awesome update! I would kill to be able to justify Annual passes- maybe someday :goodvibes
Following along! Great TR so far :)
Disney Dream Please Welcome Aboard The Chronister Family! - August 19, 2012
I woke up this morning at 7:30am so I could take my shower and get ready, so that we could be at Magic Kingdom at 9:00am! We repacked our bags for the cruise and loaded up the car then walked over to Magic Kingdom. We went right inside the gate and walked over to the Firehouse to get our SOTMK cards for the day. With that completed, I walked over to the Mailbox and put in the postcards that I had picked up yesterday to fill out!
I was amazed to see them selling popcorn this early in the morning, but I couldn't resist and got some for our drive! We made our way up the monorail ramp and it was waiting for us when we arrived. We rode it to the first stop of Disney's Contemporary Resort, walked across the skybridge, down the elevator, and hopped into the car to drive to Port Canaveral! If you are ever driving to PC, it might be prudent to know that there are 4 Tolls on the way! A $1.00, $1.25, $1.00 & $1.00. The total being $4.25! Every one of them had a change person, as well as an exact change line, and sunpass of course! Before we dropped off our car I wanted to see the ship from the road so I could get a photo of it, so we made a loop around before heading there!
We made it to Park N Cruise ($5.99/day rate with reservation) by 10:30 and only waited maybe 20 minutes for our van. They loaded us in and took us the very quick drive to the Disney Cruise Terminal at Port Canaveral! We got our of the van and gave the porters our luggage and their tip, walked through the security gate where they checked our passports and when we got through we started seeing the Mickey Hands Pointing us in the right direction!
We went through security on the bottom floor where our bags and ourselves were scanned, then we went up the escalator to fill out the sickness inquiry forms and were waved right around to the Castaway Club Check-In!! Our Check-In CM was Lou, she was such an awesome lady! Our photos were already in the system, we had already done online check-in, so everything was pretty much taken care of. She gave us our KTTW Cards, and our boarding card. We were in boarding group 6, which I guess was a trend because that was our boarding group in Alaska too!
She explained to us how the room lights/tv work. You have to place your card in the slot when you are in the room for the electricity to stay on, otherwise when you are out of the room it saves power! By the time we finished check-in they were already boarding group 1!! By 11:35 they were boarding Groups 1-5 so we were excited to get to go in next!! I realized that I hadn't gotten a picture lately so I told Jeremy to smile for one, which is unusually, but he gave me a cheesy grin anyway!
Oh, I almost forgot! We don't have kids so this didn't really apply to us...BUT, if you do have kids, I don't think I would plan on standing in the line inside the terminal to get their kids club armbands. That line was ridiculous, and it seemed to go on forever!! If I were you, I would just get it inside...
So anyway, we were very excited! We had on our Silver Castaway Club lanyards and we also got a really great dining rotation of ERAAE, which meant that we would be at Royal Palace during Semi-Formal Night, and Animator's Palette during Pirate Night! We are on Late Dining which is definitely our favorite. At 11:45 they called Group 6 and we were walking through those amazing mouse ears making our way toward the ship! First though, we had to stop and get our embarkation photo! I know a lot of people don't like taking them, but Jeremy and I rarely have photos together, and if they are good, what the heck! We both actually like this one very much! Plus it was on a yellow background, and that is my favorite color!!
After the photo, we walked across the very short ramp and were being announced in the Atrium on the Dream! We hadn't eaten anything but popcorn today so we knew we wanted to check out the food situation right away! We walked down to the Aft elevators and rode up to Deck 11 to get some lunch at Cabanas! They have such a gigantic spread of food, it is so hard to choose what to eat. I managed to get somewhat of a sampler, but it was delicious!
We finished our lunch...and dessert by 12:45, it was kind of a leisurely lunch...HAHA! Now what to do next??
Can't wait to see more! Loving these pics.
Are any of the shrimp or crab legs hot or are they all cold? I hate cold seafood.
Oh man. :( Cold crab legs = gross!
And hot shellfish at restaurants?
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