Starting Our Happily Ever After, Disney Style!! **Updated 6/27**
This is my first time posting a pre-trip report as well as a trip report after we return from our epic adventure. I'll start with the cast: Me (Jackie) and my soon to be husband Kevin. :cool1: We are both big Disney fans and we have been to Disney World a combined total of probably in the ball park of 50-60 visits. We met in college at Lewis University where we became best friends. I had a crush on him for 3 years before he left for the Disney College Program. As we talked on the phone for 3 hours a night that summer, we became closer and during my second trip that summer to visit him, he asked me out at the security check point in Epcot. We then later shared our first kiss in front of Cinderella's Castle.
This is us the day we got engaged in August 2012.
Kevin proposed to me in Disney World in August 2012 on our 1 year anniversary while we were on the 8-night Bahamian DCL cruise out of New York. We are not getting married in Disney because we have a lot family up here in Chicago that wouldn't be able to make it and family is very important to us. But how could we not go to Disney for our honeymoon?!?!
My future In-Laws and Brother-in-law were also on the trip as well. :drive:
Our very epic and amazing honeymoon is going to start with 6 nights in Walt Disney World. We are going to stay at the Grand Floridian in a club-level king room in the main building which is considered the honeymoon suite. I'm crossing my fingers on getting the Magic Kingdom view. There are 2 different rooms in this category and we want the smaller one with a balcony facing the Magic Kingdom. The other room is a turret room that's 200 square feet bigger but has panoramic views of the lagoon and the Polynesian.
Our second leg of the honeymoon is going to be on a 7-night Eastern Caribbean Disney Cruise. We are not doing a club-level room for this part but we are doing a balcony as well as some fun port adventures and dinners.
This is just a very breif overview of our ultimate Disney honeymoon and I'll be starting with our itinerary in my next post when I have more time at work. :sad2:
The Bare Bones
I'm going to start with our 6 nights in Walt Disney World. I booked the stay at WDW last September and got a large amount of Disney points on my Disney Visa. Double to be precise since we are Premiere Members. If you travel a lot to Disney or on the cruises I highly suggest paying the $49 annual fee for the Premiere card because it's totally worth it! Originally Kevin and I were planning to leave for Florida the Monday after we get married at 6:00am but we recently decided to change our plans to leave the morning after we get married. Since I booked in September of last year for this August, we didn't get a discount. I called Disney recently to add on the extra night and with that extra night, the 30% Deluxe Resort offer applied to the trip and we got a HUGE discount. We also got a $9 discount off our flight because we changed it to a mid-day Sunday flight. I couldn't believe that we actually got paid to go an extra day to Disney!
(Clearly a demo card...)
Like I said before, we are staying in the Grand Floridian in a club-level king room in the main building. It's always been my dream to stay in the Grand Floridian but my mom always booked the Polynesian growing up. My wonderful fiance wanted to make my dreams come true and make this trip a once in a lifetime ultimate vacation. We wanted to completely indulge in the concierge experience and I always find that everyone says it's completely worth it. So far my experience with them has been pretty good. I did use the Itinerary Planning Office to book our dining.....but my Disney planning OCD kicked in and I changed some on my own when Kevin and I changed our minds. I found it easier to just go to the Disney website than email them every single time which took at least 2 days. At a certain point I like to be in complete control of my vacation.... (Everyone says I should become a Disney travel agent)
We also made a couple room requests such as the Magic Kingdom view rather than the larger room that has the panoramic views of the lagoon. We'll see how that plays out when we get there. We are really looking forward to the continental breakfast in the morning as well as the snacks throughout the day. Usually we do Pop Century or a Moderate resort on our trips. We are also planning on relaxing some nights on our balcony watching Wishes since it's our favorite fireworks show.
Since we are getting there about 6pm on the Sunday after we get married, we decided to add another base ticket for that night if the weather is nice. (We've had every experience under the sun with Florida weather, so nothing surprises us.) Our plan so far is to Magical Express it to the Grand Floridian and then go straight to Kona Island at the Polynesian for sushi before we go over to the Magic Kingdom for the night. I found out that it's open till 1:00am with EMH the night we get there!! Kevin and I are going to be back by 11:00ish though since the next day we are going to Animal Kingdom for EMH at 8:00am. We tend to be the walking wounded by the end of our WDW trips so we are trying to avoid that this time...
(My expression when we finish the first leg of the honeymoon in one piece!) :rotfl:
Since Animal Kingdom is our least favorite park, we are going to spend our first full day there. EMH is at 8:00am so we like to ge there at park open and have everything done by 1:00pm at the latest. We love the detail of the park but it just gets too hot there! :crazy2: We also aren't extremely big zoo people and we really only go for certain rides and that's it. My favorite ride at Animal Kingdom is hands down Dinosaur. I remember going on it back when it was called Countdown to Extinction and was 10 times scarier than now. ::yes::
(That's us in the first row clearly with knowledge of the camera!)
We also do the major rides like the safari and Expedition Everest. I think this time we are also going to catch the Finding Nemo show which we haven't seen in a long time. The one ride I haven't been on in years that I plan on going on is Kali River Rapids. Kevin doesn't like walking around wet so we are going to do this one last and go straight back to the room to change. We are then going to go to Whispering Canyon Cafe for dinner followed by watching Wishes from our balcony or the Polynesian beach. I'm really hoping that we get this balcony room!! :tink:
Starting New Traditions in Epcot
On Tuesday of our trip we decided that we are going to take it slow and go to Epcot around 10:00am or 11:00am since there is EMH till 1:00am. We usually start our day going from Soarin' to Finding Nemo to Journey into Imagination and so on. We also plan on doing Ellen's Energy Adventure since we haven't done it in a couple years, and we'll do it during the hottest part of the day! :scared1:
Kevin and I are also going to give Test Track another try. When we did it in December right after it reopened, we weren't very impressed. I don't know if we are just traditionalists or what, but the whole virtual world thing didn't do anything for us and it didn't seen like they worked out all the kinks in the system. Our cars didn't show up during the ride and we waited three times as long in the regular line because of system errors for designing your own cards. It had nothing to do with the ride itself. I do miss the test dummy theme and the hot/cold/corrosion rooms but I'll give my second opinion after we return. :goodvibes
Kevin's car that kicked my car's butt.... :worship:
My awesome car!! :cool1:
During this trip I really want to try to get into the special meet and greet for the Disney Visa Cardholders. Has anyone ever down that before?? I know it's in Innoventions West but who is in there??
We plan on going to most of the attractions in World Showcase during the day. It's also my goal to meet Mulan because she's one of the few princesses I haven't taken a picture with!! :cutie: Later on we are going to have dinner at the Coral Reef Restaurant. I love this place and I think it's highly underrated. Kevin has never been there before and with the good food and awesome view of the reef, I'm sure he'll love it! ;) We usually go to the Garden Grill but after going last December, I didn't think the food as good as it had been the couple of years before and I really wanted to go somewhere that I haven't been in a while.
Our usual fun at Garden Grill :love:
Where I'm taking Kevin: :cool1:
I'm also starting pin trading for the first time!!! I've been collecting park series vinylmation since they came out but I really wanted to try something new. I know I'm not going to turn into one of those crazies that run into the park tackling every cast member to see their pins. I just want to do it casually and have fun with it. The only collectors pin I currently own is the free one I got from the Segway Tour at Epcot which I have to admit is pretty cool! :D
What I usually collect:
My first pin that I ever received!!
I plan on getting a starter lanyard from the Magic Kingdom on our first night. I also have free pins to trade as well. Since I'm a member of the Disney Movie Reward Club, every featured title we purchase, we get one exclusive pin for free. There's a nice selection of pins but I go with the basic ones that will be good for trading with cast members only. (I really don't approve of the Ebay sellers that offer large amounts of second grade pins for minimal amounts.) I also used my Disney Movie Rewards points to get a couple of sets of Lion King pins from the rewards site. All in all, I have about 10 pins to trade right now and plus the starter pins from the lanyards, I have a good start to my new collection!
I have two packages of these from Disney Movie Rewards!
Does anyone have any suggestions for a starter pin trader like me??
Eating Like A Celebrity!
On Wednesday of our trip we plan on being at Hollywood Studios EARLY. I think they have EMH in the morning and our number one priority is of course Fastpass for Toy Story Midway Mania. We didn't end up going the past couple of trips due to long lines and not getting there early enough for Fastpasses. I also tend to kick Kevin's butt at Toy Story :woohoo:.... but he'll get me back at Buzz Lightyear the next day... :sad2:
(We went on it 2 times!!) :rotfl:
Did I mention that I've been desperately trying to be one of the test guests for the MagicBands? I emailed our Itinerary Planning Office and they said that so far it's happening at The Contemporary and Animal Kingdom Lodge. They said they were going to start more testing later in the summer at different resorts but they didn't know which ones. If we were chosen, we would be notified by email. :confused3
(I'm hopin' and prayin'!!!) ::yes::
We are also really hoping to catch the ENTIRE Indiana Jones show as well. The past four years we haven't been able to see the ending due to the weather. (big surprise!) Kevin and I are both really bummed that Muppets will be closed during our entire stay. :sad1: To make up for it, however, we are leaving a little early from Hollywood Studios in order to have dinner at, drum roll please.....
VICTORIA & ALBERT'S!!!
This is probably going to be one of the only times in our lives that we will go here but we figured that it was such a special occasion, we should go all out. We have been trying to research all we can about it and look for any pictures on the DIS boards but we have found minimal and barely any reports. I plan on making a full detailed report on Victoria & Albert's when we get back so that others in my situation have a little better idea about the experience.
Since this is so special, we are bringing Kevin's new suit that he gets free from our wedding tux rentals. I even bought a new dress for the special occasion! David's Bridal is such a great place!! (I will also be wearing the same dress to Remy on the Fantasy)
(My pretty dress!!!) :cool1:
We are only doing the main dining room but we are going to get the wine pairings for the entire meal. We also decided that if there's a dish that's an extra cost and sounds amazing, we are going to splurge on the dish. Hey, you only live once, right?? I think this is top thing about our WDW section of the honeymoon that I'm most excited for!!
The Last Two Whirlwind Days
The next day after Victoria & Albert's we are finally spending the entire day in the Magic Kingdom!! We again plan on getting a majority of the rides done in the morning before the massive amounts of people get to the park. There is also EMH this morning! It's funny, I usually plan our trips according to EMH and everything works out according to plan. On this trip, I planned our days before the EMH schedule was even released and I come to find out the most days we will have EMH. (I'm just that awesome... :cool1:)
Right before Kevin proposed!!
In the early afternoon we plan on going back to our room and grabbing the iPad to film the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade. This will sadly be the last time we will get to see this parade since they are re-imagining it next summer..... :( ....BUT I am very excited to see and hear the new parade!!
Every character in the parade congratulated us on the engagement!! :D
I'm also very excited about Be Our Guest!! This will be our first time going to this restaurant. I'm really hoping that we get the West Wing. I put it in our request but there is of course, no guarantee we will get it but I'm always open to the grand ballroom. :) We tried going back during our December trip last year for lunch and we found out that there was a 3 hour wait for lunch....so we got the pork shank from Gaston's Tavern instead with some delicious LeFou's Brew. :love:
After dinner we plan on going on a couple rides as usual and then staking out a spot in the main circle for the Electric Light Parade and Wishes. I have never been a fan of the ELP. Spectromagic has ALWAYS been my favorite both visually and musically. I cannot wait until they bring it back to the Magic Kingdom!! We plan on watching the parade this time only because last time we waited until after the parade to get a spot for Wishes and it was a mess. The Dessert Party at the Tomorrowland Terrace isn't an option. We did it last year during the cruise that Kevin proposed to me and we didn't like it very much. It's cute for large groups but we didn't find the half-melted desserts very appealing.
Bring it Back!!!!!!!!
The next day, which is the Friday before our cruise, we choose to do a relaxing day. We are starting out the day with a Chef Mickey's breakfast. We do it every trip we take! Then we plan on doing laundry. Since the honeymoon is 2 weeks long, it made sense to do laundry before the cruise so we weren't bringing extra bags for extra clothing. While we do laundry we plan on swimming and taking it easy at the Grand Floridian and actually enjoying the resort that we paid for.
After laundry is done and we get our fill of swimming, then it's Downtown Disney time!!! Kevin's not big into shopping but it's my number one sport so it makes him happy to see me so happy. :hyper: After a few hours walking around we have tickets to Cirque Du Soliel!! We decided that we might as well splurge a little because the honeymoon and book front and center through the Itinerary Planning Office. Let me just say, we have epic seats! We are in he center section one row before the gold circle seat which are considered the director seats. I'm so excited for this!! :dance3: I've seen a Cirque du Soliel show once and Kevin has never seen any so this will definitely be a magical experience! :wizard:
The last part of the night will be dedicated to repacking EVERYTHING since the next morning we leave for the 7 night Eastern Carribbean Disney Cruise!! This will be the last post that I do in the WDW PTR. I'm going to move the second half of the report to the DCL PTR.
Thank you for following! I hope you guys join me in the second half!
Here's the link to the DCL PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3128952
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