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TinkerBelle_325 08-21-2013 02:17 PM

Adventure is out there....and so are MagicBands!! A Sept 2013 TR - **Updated 09/01**

Hi! Welcome to my September Trip Report: "Adventure is out there....and so are MagicBands!"

As you can tell, I love the movie UP and felt that the title was only fitting considering that my family is testing MagicBands this trip!

Our original plans had us staying for 9 nights at Coronado Springs from Sept 3rd - 12th, but we had the opportunity to fly out the night of Sept 2nd and arrive late at night in Orlando. So, we booked 1 night at Pop Century and as a result we were included in the September MagicBand testing!

Because our annual passes are linked to My Disney Experience, I was able to select FastPass+ reservations. We were also able to customize our MagicBands.

Now seems like the right time to introduce my family!

Myself :tink:

I'm Megan and I am 28 years old. For the past 16 months I have been taking my MBA and I just successfully defended my thesis last week! As a result of all these months of hard work, I need a break! I have been to WDW more times than I can count. Actually, that's a lie...this will be trip number 46 for me!

I am a foodie at heart and have been taking pictures of food for years (before instagram made it cool :rolleyes: ). I will admit that I am a Disney Commando at heart, but I have started to appreciate the more laid back aspects of a vacation. For example: I love trashy magazines (Us Weekly, People, Star etc.), reading my Nook by the pool, afternoon naps (which are so much better at Disney for some reason), and simply taking pictures and enjoying the background music at the parks.

My favorite parks are the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. It is very hard for me to name "a" favorite ride because I love so many! My top 10 are Splash Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, Under the Sea, TTA, Spaceship Earth, Soarin, Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Kilimanjaro Safaris.

DMom ::MinnieMo

DMom works for her father's family business. She also works with my DDad. So basically she is one of the busiest and most efficient people I know. She could organize any room, any time. She loves WDW because it is the place where most of our best family memories have been made. And she desperately needs this break. Her only criteria? Stay at Coronado Springs and give her lots of down time by the pool. Done :thumbsup2

DDad ::MickeyMo

DDad works in financial services. He loves WDW just as much as me but he hides it better. He also loves challenging me with obtaining impossible dining reservations. In my dining review I wrote this: "NOTE TO DAD: California Grill is CLOSED. So there really is no way I can get us that reservation this time." And guess what.....NOW THE CALIFORNIA GRILL WILL BE OPEN SEPT 9TH....ugh :sad2: I am *never* going to hear the end of it. I swear he has some psychic dining reservation power :scratchin He would be content to only visit MK once and spend some evenings at Epcot, but he visits the parks a bit more often than that for me :thumbsup2

TheMaxRebo 08-21-2013 04:59 PM

Following! Best of luck with the Magic Band testing

And as someone who has been eagerly awaiting the re-opening of GC - a big "thank you" to your father's special powers to get it re-open ;)

TinkerBelle_325 08-22-2013 11:32 AM


Originally Posted by TheMaxRebo (Post 49350689)
Following! Best of luck with the Magic Band testing

And as someone who has been eagerly awaiting the re-opening of GC - a big "thank you" to your father's special powers to get it re-open ;)

Thanks for reading! I am looking forward to MagicBand testing. I am really curious to see how it works with a split stay. I've heard some people have full functionality (the MBs work as room keys, charge cards, park admission and FP+) while other reports of just park admission and FP+ working during a split stay.

LOL we have been eagerly awaiting the reopening too! Our last meal at CG was in December and it is one of our favorites on WDW property. I love the sushi and hope that the exceptionally high quality remains even though Yoshie has left :sad:

TinkerBelle_325 08-22-2013 12:19 PM


It has been a very busy year for my family! We all need a break and Disney is our favorite place to relax. As I mentioned in the introduction, I am a Disney Commando at heart...I love rope drop and rides and time in the park...but DMom & DDad like to take Disney vacations at a slower pace. As a result I am learning to adapt our plans to suit everyone :goodvibes

I appreciate time by the pool, reading my Nook, afternoon naps and fine dining just as much as getting up early and hitting the parks when they are semi-private at rope drop. We had every intention of this being a super low key vacation. Until....we decided to go down to Florida a day early and booked 1 night at Pop Century.

Now, my family is not a fan of value resorts. We understand that they have a huge fan following and are great for some, but generally they just don't suit our vacationing style. However, we switched our flight to late the night of Sept 2nd and figured instead of staying out by the airport we might as well go straight to WDW. We didn't feel like checking into CSR that late, so we decided on Pop Century.

Just after I booked the Pop Century reservation I went to check My Disney Experience and discovered....


:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2: pixiedust: pixiedust: pixiedust: :worship: :worship: :worship:
WE GET TO TEST MagicBands!!!

I literally felt like the little green aliens from Toy Story. I knew that testing was going on at select resorts and I knew that Pop had tested in August. I was *hopeful* that they would test in September and thrilled when the MagicBand and FastPass+ features opened up in MDE!

We were able to customize our MagicBands....

And now they have been activated, show as "ours" in MDE and are waiting for us at Pop Century!

I have had a lot of fun selecting FastPass+ experiences. I have received a "bonus FastPass+" every time I select the Magic Kingdom. This means we have 4 FP+ at MK, but 3 FP+ at any other park selected. I have scheduled a combination of morning and evening FP+ experiences. I want to see what it is like to use them just after rope drop and what it is like to use them in the evening when the parks are busier.

I won't be posting the details of FP+ experiences that I have booked or an in depth itinerary until after we return, but here is an overview

Monday, September 2nd
Late Night Flight
Arrival at Pop

Tuesday, September 3rd
Check-out Pop
Check-in CSR
Downtown Disney
LUNCH: Wolfgang Puck Express
Epcot in the evening
DINNER: Chefs de France

Wednesday, September 4th
Magic Kingdom in the morning
LUNCH: Be Our Guest
Afternoon at CSR
Epcot in the evening
DINNER: Tutto Gusto/Via Napoli

Thursday, September 5th
Epcot in the late morning
LUNCH: Les Halles
Afternoon at CSR
Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evening

Friday, September 6th
Epcot in the morning
LUNCH: Le Cellier
Afternoon at CSR
Epcot in the evening
DINNER: Teppan Edo

Saturday, September 7th
Orlando Shopping in the morning
BREAKFAST: Cracker Barrel
Grand Floridian in the afternoon
LUNCH: Garden View Tea
Epcot in the evening
DINNER: La Hacienda de San Angel

Sunday, September 8th
Magic Kingdom in the morning? Fort Wilderness?
LUNCH: Kona Cafe
Afternoon at CSR
Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evening

Monday, September 9th
CSR and Animal Kingdom Lodge in the morning
Afternoon at CSR
Contemporary in the evening
DINNER: California Grill (*hopefully*)

Tuesday, September 10th
Hollywood Studios in the morning
LUNCH: 50's Primetime Cafe
Afternoon at CSR
Magic Kingdom in the late afternoon/early evening
DINNER: Liberty Tree Tavern

Wednesday, September 11th
Magic Kingdom in the morning
LUNCH: Columbia Harbour House
Afternoon at CSR
Epcot in the evening
DINNER: Chefs de France

Thursday, September 12th
Morning at CSR
BREAKFAST: Pepper Market
Afternoon Flight

Can't believe we leave in 11 days! And I haven't even started packing yet LOL! Stay tuned because I will update at least once or twice before we leave!

TinkerBelle_325 08-23-2013 12:05 PM



I am so excited that we have just 10 days to go! I am one of those strange people that actually enjoys organizing, packing and travel days! I am finishing up some work on my MBA internship this coming week in addition to preparing for vacation, so the time will definitely fly!

My pre-vacation ritual involves listening to live365 (usually Sorcerer Radio and MouseWorld Radio), watching Youtube videos of WDW and reading trip reports to get myself excited. I am also ashamed to say that I have never even come close to finishing a TR :eek: I know! Please don't worry! I promise I am going to finish this one (I have a much better track record with dining reviews :lmao: ). I am so excited to pass on information about the MagicBands to all of you.

So I thought I would do a WDW Countdown both here and on my Dining Review. For the purposes of the TR it will be the a countdown of all the park and resort related things I am most excited about!

This is such a simple thing to be excited about and I must have dozens of pictures of it by now...but there is just *something* about it. I know the drive from Orlando International to WDW like the back of my hand. It is actually an enjoyable drive most of the time because it builds anticipation! What is the first Disney Billboard that you will see? Are there new ones? Do you secretly compare them to the Universal Billboards like me? :rolleyes1

I always sit up front with my dad and I always have my camera poised. He always tries his best to get me a clear shot with no other cars in the way. I think we all feel a sense of both comfort and excitement as we pass under those gates.

We live in Canada and going to cottages in the summer is hugely popular. I frequently get asked why we bother to return to the same vacation destination year after year. When asked this question I liken it to the cottage experience. Cottage goers attend the EXACT same place, often multiple weekends each and every summer. Sure, I go to WDW at least 2 times a year, but I stay at different resorts, eat at different restaurants, experience different attractions. But the general appeal is the same....a cottage feels comfortable, familiar and relaxing to them....and that is how WDW feels to us.

So I can't wait to pass through those gates and into the most magical place on earth in just 10 short days!

PrincessCasey27 08-23-2013 01:27 PM

Hello there!:wave2:

I'm so in for this report! I've been so curious about the magic bands and everything that comes with it! I especially cant wait for food pictures and reviews!

xxpeachykeenxx 08-23-2013 04:57 PM

Joining in!
We will be arriving on the 5th and staying thru the 14th! we're at Pop an testing out the Magicbands too! I've started my own TR as well we will have to see if it gets finished :rotfl:

TinkerBelle_325 08-24-2013 10:56 PM


Originally Posted by PrincessCasey27 (Post 49368351)
Hello there!:wave2:

I'm so in for this report! I've been so curious about the magic bands and everything that comes with it! I especially cant wait for food pictures and reviews!

Thanks for reading! I am really curious about the MagicBands too! Can't wait to test them :) Most of the food pictures will be in my Dining Review (link in my signature).


Originally Posted by xxpeachykeenxx (Post 49370370)
Joining in!
We will be arriving on the 5th and staying thru the 14th! we're at Pop an testing out the Magicbands too! I've started my own TR as well we will have to see if it gets finished :rotfl:

Very cool! I will check out your TR too. Would love to see different experiences with the MagicBands.

Nicole786 08-24-2013 11:02 PM

We'll be there the same time you are! I got picked for MagicBands also, i'm so excited to test them out!! We'll be at the BC the 5th-9th! We leave this friday for the trip and I can't wait!!

TinkerBelle_325 08-25-2013 12:12 AM



Woohoo! Single digit dance :cheer2::yay::dance3:

I've started setting aside clothes, making my packing lists, and all the organizational things one does when the single digits hit! I've also started checking the weather. Does anyone else feel like Accuweather ALWAYS has "Rain" predicted for anything further out than a week? :rotfl: It's ok, I prefer my forecast anyways!

Highs between 88 and 90. Lows around 74. Overall mainly sunny with chances of scattered afternoon showers. Chance of rain 10-40%.

Continuing the countdown to WDW...

Day 9: Returning to Coronado Springs

Coronado Springs is our family's favorite resort. In fact, we have stayed there 16 times since it opened in 1997. We love the relaxed atomsphere, the beautiful landscaping, the incredible pool, I could go on and on!

We have gone through phases in terms of location preference. For a long time we loved the Casitas - the fountains, the courtyards and the proximity to El Centro. However, we disliked the distance from the Dig Site.

Currently our favorite location is Cabanas 9A. It is a short walk to El Centro and to the Dig Site. The parking is close. The quiet pool is right there as is the laundry room. And generally we have found it is a calm location.
Fountain in El Centro
Beautiful Detailed Ceiling
Spacious Lobby with Spectacular Ceiling (and Hidden Mickey!)
Panchito's and Walkway to Cafe Rix and the Pepper Market
Cabana 9B from the El Centro Bridge

I especially love the decor of the rooms now. The teal, cream and dark wood is so inviting!

Not to mention the Siesta Pool Bar has THE BEST margaritas in the world (shh...I even like them better than La Cava :rolleyes1).

Stay tuned for Day 8's Countdown!

wiigirl 08-26-2013 10:48 AM

Following along! :goodvibes

TinkerBelle_325 08-26-2013 05:00 PM


Originally Posted by wiigirl (Post 49391728)
Following along! :goodvibes

Thanks for reading! Update coming up :thumbsup2

TinkerBelle_325 08-26-2013 07:52 PM



Hi All! Sorry that I missed Day 8 on the countdown :sad2: but I'm here to offer up Day 7 :thumbsup2

Day 7: The Fall Decorations

Fall is my favorite time of the year. The crisp cool air, cozy sweaters, hot tea, spiced cider, everything pumpkin spice, changing leaves....ahhh :worship: Even the sunlight is is more golden and glowing than it is in the summer.

And while I know that most WDW fans adore the Christmas decorations at the MK (and they are beautiful!), my favorite seasonal decorations are those up in the fall! There is something about the blue sky, the antique colours of Main Street and the warm oranges and yellows of the decorations!
The Sleepy Hollow Fall Display
Pumpkins in Liberty Square
Doesn't this just scream "Fall?" :cloud9:
Beautiful Arrangement on Lamp Post in Liberty Square
Jack-o-Lantern Mickey on Main Street
Garlands and Swags on The Emporium

In fact, my love of the MK fall decorations inspired me to make this cake a few years ago:

I know that I will get to see my beloved fall decorations at least once as the first MNSSHP is on Sept 10th and we will be at the MK the morning of the 11th, but I am very hopeful that I will see them on our first MK day Sept 4th.

Stay tuned for Day 6!

TheMaxRebo 08-26-2013 09:08 PM

wow, that cake looks awesome! Great job :thumbsup2

love the fall decorations at WDW - especially MK

TinkerBelle_325 08-27-2013 10:28 PM


Originally Posted by TheMaxRebo (Post 49397196)
wow, that cake looks awesome! Great job :thumbsup2

love the fall decorations at WDW - especially MK

Thank you! I am really hoping the decorations will be up by the time I get there :goodvibes

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