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jenny105 09-10-2013 04:50 PM

"A free trip to the World? Sweet!" - AUGUST 2013 WDW AEP TR updated 10/19
Hi everyone! I'm back with another Jenny105 TR. Most of you reading this know me but for those of you who don't my name is Jen, I'm 30 years old, and I'm from New Jersey. I'm a travel agent for AAA and my job has some great perks! :) I book all kinds of trips but my favorite trips to plan are Disney, natch.

This trip was different from others. It wasn't my own, I did little to no planning, and Disney chose the resort. I went to the World August 26-30th as part of an Agent Education Program for "work." Most of my days were filled with site inspections and seminars but I was able to squeeze in a little bit of fun too. The best part of it? Disney put us up at the Grand Floridian resort! I never thought I'd get to stay there and it's another resort to cross of the bucket list. I traveled & roomed with my co-worker Lorraine and met some great people along the way. I hope you'll join me and relive my trip with me!

Chapter 1 - We Have Arrived
Chapter 2 - Polynesian & Boardwalk
Chapter 3 - Illuminations
Chapter 4 - New Fantasyland
Chapter 5 - Fort Wilderness & Wilderness Lodge
Chapter 6 - Contemporary & BLT
Chapter 7 - Grand Floridian Tour
Chapter 8 - Magic Kingdom and Chef Mickey's
Chapter 9 - AoA Cars Section
Chapter 10 - The Rest of AoA
Chapter 11 - Port Orleans Riverside
Chapter 12 - Dinner at Garden Grill
Chapter 13 - Cape May Café, the Clubs, and Port Canaveral
Chapter 14 - Disney Dream Tour
Chapter 15 - Disney Dream Continued
Chapter 16 - CSR, DHS, & Wishes
Chapter 17 - Our Last Day in Disney

budafam 09-10-2013 05:01 PM

I'm joining along :) Gotta love those travel agent perks :thumbsup2 Can't wait to see pics of all the resorts... I plan to take a trip just to do all that next summer.

wiigirl 09-10-2013 05:02 PM

Joining in! :goodvibes

Dancegrl624 09-10-2013 05:04 PM

I'm here!

klacey1 09-10-2013 05:19 PM

Here! :thumbsup2

homeschoolmomof4 09-10-2013 05:21 PM

Can't wait to hear more about it! :)

SEASONK 09-10-2013 09:58 PM

I'm in! Grand Floridian is my dream resort!!

princess_momma 09-11-2013 01:24 AM

I'm here!! And sooooo excited!!! :cool1:

jenny105 09-11-2013 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by budafam (Post 49529644)
I'm joining along :) Gotta love those travel agent perks :thumbsup2 Can't wait to see pics of all the resorts... I plan to take a trip just to do all that next summer.


Originally Posted by wiigirl (Post 49529652)
Joining in! :goodvibes


Originally Posted by Dancegrl624 (Post 49529671)
I'm here!


Originally Posted by klacey1 (Post 49529835)
Here! :thumbsup2


Originally Posted by homeschoolmomof4 (Post 49529864)
Can't wait to hear more about it! :)


Originally Posted by SEASONK (Post 49532208)
I'm in! Grand Floridian is my dream resort!!


Originally Posted by princess_momma (Post 49533316)
I'm here!! And sooooo excited!!! :cool1:

Welcome everyone! So glad you will all be reading along. :)

FauntleroyFAN07 09-11-2013 03:13 PM

:) howdy

jenny105 09-11-2013 03:28 PM

We've Arrived! 8/26

I had an early flight to Orlando so I begin the day waking up at 4:30 AM. I am not a morning person at all but when Im waking up early to go to Walt Disney World Im a very happy girl! I showered, dressed, packed some last minute things, and forced myself to eat a little something before waking my boyfriend Kris at 5:30. He had agreed to drive me to the airport. Well I woke him up, he came into the kitchen to get a drink, and then crawled back into bed. Wake up sleepyhead! I finally got him into the car and 20-30 minutes later we were at Newark airport. We said our goodbyes and I made my way to the security line. I think bag fees are ludicrous and wont check a bag if I dont have to. Because of this my carry-on was stuffed to the brim but security didnt give me any problems. I saw my co-worker Lorraine in the security line and we met afterwards & walked to the gate together. When we got to the gate the employees were making repeated announcements that our flight was overbooked and needed six volunteers to get on an afternoon flight. Because of this our flight was delayed about 30 minutes or so. The good news was that a family was booked in the exit row and the kids were too young to be there so we managed to get our seats switched with them & scored exit row seats! Plenty of leg room! We were one of the last people to board the plane and because of this they were forced to gate check our bags. Hey, as long as I dont have to pay for it, check away! We were off and in the air by 8AM (supposed to be 7:25).

The flight was uneventful. I read for most of it and Lorraine slept. We landed by 10:30, caught the fake monorail, grabbed our bags right away (first ones off the plane!), and headed toward Magical Express. The last time I took Magical Express was in 2009 and I like the way they just scan the barcode on your packet now; moves things along quite nicely. We waited about 10-15 minutes for a bus and managed to get in the second row when we boarded. Disney here we come!

In no time we saw the best sign that ever stood.

Second best.

Lucky for us we were the second stop. Polynesian first, then us, the Grand Floridian! We have arrived.

After we oohed and aahed over the lobby (beautiful isnt it?) we proceeded to the check-in desk. We were roommates but the girl at the desk had to check us in one at a time since I guess it was technically each a separate reservation. She gave us our little welcome packet from our group leaders (lanyard, name badge, MK fastpasses, itinerary) and a map of the property. We ended up on the 5th floor of the Sago Cay building. Bell services took us over in style golf cart! We ended up with Witt who is absolutely wonderful. He was full of facts about the Grand Floridian and gave us a mini-tour of the resort. He then proceeded to get the elevator for us, walked us to our room, and got us ice. He was fantastic and if any of you stay there tell Witt I said so! He left us to get settled and we quickly unpacked. Pictures of the room and more of the resort later in the TR I promise! We freshened up and changed before heading to&.

Magic Kingdom! It was about noon at this point and we werent scheduled to meet with our group until 3:30 so we had some time to kill. We walked over to the main building, up the stairs, and before long saw this bad boy.

Yay! Ive never stayed at a monorail resort before! So convenient.

Selfie on the monorail Lorraine & me.

Some pictures of the monorail resorts from the monorail J

Now last time I was at MK (in October 2012) they still had the regular ticket machines. Now its been replaced by the touch posts so I was a little confused as to what I had to do but no worries! Easy peasy and we were through the gates in a breeze. Let our trip officially begin!

I have so many pictures of the castle yet I keep taking more!


I asked Lorraine what shed like to do first and she said she didnt know and told me to lead the way. BTW Lorraine hadnt been to Disney since 1996! So I was kind of like her tour guide. First we stopped to get a bite to eat at Pecos Bills since we hadnt eaten since the airport. She got a cheeseburger and I got a taco salad. Then, because it was so hot, we headed back toward Splash Mountain. We were each given two fastpasses which were good for up to five people and didnt expire until 8/31. Pretty sweet! So we went through the fastpass line, waiting about 5 minutes, and were in the log shortly. Right before we boarded the CMs made an announcement that inclement weather was headed our way. Uh oh.

No rain during Splash Mountain except of course from the splash itself. I love that ride and never tire of it and I think Lorraine enjoyed it as well. She kept asking if this was the big drop and I wouldnt tell her. After we hit the main drop she was like oh that was it? lol. Such a fun ride!

We had a little bit of time left so we decided to do one more ride: POTC! We needed some Johnny Depp! Well that ride is almost always walk-on so no problems there but shortly after we were dispatched we got stuck! Right at the part with the skeletons - lovely. We sat for about 10 minutes before moving again and made it through the rest of the ride with no stops. Lorraine remembered that ride so it was nothing new for her except the additions from the movie.

When we came out of the ride we were in for a surprise. Remember that inclement weather? Yeah well it was downpouring! It was coming off the roof of the gift shop like a sheet. We tried to wait it out but were running short on time we needed to get back to the resort to meet our group! We made a run for it and by the time we got to the monorail station we looked like we had taken showers with our clothes on. Oh well!

Ironman monorail!

We made it back to GF with enough time to take quick real showers, change, and dry our hair a bit before heading to the conference center. Time to meet our group!

Coming up - come with me on a tour of the Polynesian and Boardwalk Inn.

Stay tuned!

jenny105 09-11-2013 03:30 PM


Originally Posted by FauntleroyFAN07 (Post 49537809)
:) howdy

Hi Dan!

princess_momma 09-11-2013 03:42 PM

AHHHHH The Grand Floridian!! I'm in love!! What a gorgeous resort!! How magical that you got to stay there!! :cheer2:

Goodness...I don't think I will be ready for how much has changed since I've been there last...even longer than you, June 2011! :faint: CRAZY! I'm glad tap to touch is pretty easy though.

I'm glad that you were able to squeeze in some Splash...I LOVE going on with people who don't know when the drop is. So funny. :goodvibes

Can't wait for the tours!!

vleeth 09-12-2013 10:09 AM

You're right, that is the best sign that ever stood...and I own a sign I'm an expert. :lmao:

klacey1 09-12-2013 03:45 PM

The GF lobby is gorgeous! I never get tired of Splash either! It's such a long, great ride. Augh, I hate getting stuck on rides, but it doesn't sound like Pirates was too bad.
That FL rain! Short but fierce! Glad you had time to dry off!

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