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Old 10-21-2010, 04:37 PM   #1
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Smile And I think to myself: "It's a wonderful World!" UPDATED: (post 238 & 239)

2nd October 2010

I sat up until after 1, unable to sleep. I finally collapsed into bed only to be woken at 3 am by DD asking if it was breakfast time! No matter what I tried to tell her, she was not going back to sleep so I eventually issued her with a colouring in book and some pens and told her to leave me to sleep for an hour. She woke me 45 minutes later to ask if it was “time yet”. I gave up on the sleep attempt and went to run a hot bath. Between the two of us we managed to knock another hour and a half back getting ourselves ready. I was pretty tired and had been fighting a dreadful cold since Tuesday which didn’t help matters, but who could get upset with a little girl who had just been told out of the blue she was going to Disney for 2 weeks?!

We went for breakfast and then Dad helped load the things into the car. Our flight was only due to depart at 2 pm but I wanted to be at the check in line very early as I know VA doesn’t operate from Glasgow except on a handful of days each year so I was anticipating a fair amount of chaos. I was correct!

When we got the check in area just before 9 am there were already 5 or 6 families standing there. They opened the desks about half an hour later so we only waited about 5 minutes to go to our check in desk. By this time the place was packed with people wanting to check in. The staff were struggling with the system and kept stopping and hopping across to ask for or give assistance to one another. The lady who was helping us was having a terrible time of it. We were at the desk for nearly 30 minutes. Eventually one of the supervisors (I assumed) came over to help and it turned out that part of the problem was that my 8 year old DD had been selected for the random security check. We were told not to mess around the terminal but to go straight through security and to be at our gate with plenty of time to spare.

I had booked the Sky Lounge as I didn’t fancy sitting about the terminal. I was a bit disappointed with it though. For one that was supposedly recently revamped it looked a bit sad, although it was clean and tidy and well stocked in the canteen/kitchen area. They had an adequate selection of snacks and beverages there and I still feel it was worth the money as we didn’t end up walking around the airport buying snacks and drinks for the next two hours, which tends to happen when trying to pass the time. I would book it again while DD is still classed as a child, but wouldn't It was also nice that it was almost empty so it was nice and quiet, although as we were leaving a whole lot of families arrived and the noise level picked up considerably.

DD took pictures

We made our way to our gate about 20 minutes earlier than required and within 5 minutes we heard our names being called. We proceeded to the gate where they took us aside for DD’s security check. The staff were lovely about it and made it pleasant for her, pretending to play a tickling game. They did seem a little taken aback that it was a child and double checked our passports to make sure it wasn’t supposed to be me. Fortunately, since I have to book her as an adult, I have always prepared her for the possibility that either of us could be chosen as a very important person to help security check that they are doing a good job at keeping all the passengers safe and she took it all in her stride with no further comment about it.

They sent us to board immediately from there so it was a long wait for the plane to fill up. I never understand why people want to get to the gate early and get on the flight as soon as possible when you are going to be on there for the next 9 hours. Anyway, that made me realise something else: I have been spoilt flying PE. Of course DD did her bit to embarrass me once the flight was packed with people by standing up and asking loudly why there were so many seats on this plane and howcome they are so small .... etc, etc.

Hot Lips waiting to whisk us away to our happy place

It was one of the longest flights ever. I was very uncomfortable, the flight was full to capacity, neither of us slept at all and it didn’t help matters that we were delayed and took off 40 minutes late, having boarded more than 40 minutes before our scheduled departure.

They did serve DD’s gluten free meal this time, to my delight – which was short lived. She wanted to know where her dessert was and why she only had lettuce, cucumber, bland chicken and plain rice. My immediate response was that she must have the wrong meal so I checked the stickers on the side of the meal. Well guess what? It was gluten free, but they now do a combo of categories so it was GF, low fat, low sodium and something else. So my daughter was eating diet food. I had brought snacks with however after last year’s fiasco when they ‘forgot’ her meal on both flights. It never used to be like that though. Two years ago gluten free on VA was a full meal. The good news is (I don’t think I have even mentioned this yet on here) just before we left DD got the All Clear, but Proceed with Caution: It appears she has outgrown her gluten intolerance although we have to be sensible in controlling the quantities for now. It certainly is going to make life easier when it comes to travelling and going out to eat.

Well arrival at MCO was a breeze. We landed about 30 minutes late and it felt like ages before we got off the plane, although I am sure it wasn’t that long. My mind was starting to fret about the queue at security since we were flying economy this time. We were right near the front however so it could have been worse and it turned out I worried for nothing. We walked through to customs and were directed straight to a customs officer who was so pleasant. I had a £25 VA voucher and had to use it so I bought chocolates to give away to Mousekeeping when on the flight and I did put it down as food so I was advised to go and declare it. Why in the world do you have to tick a box for food which also has insects falling under the same category? I mean seriously?!?!?

Anyway our bags sailed out in quick succession and within minutes we were on our way through the customs check which was quick and straightforward. My next mission was to avoid using the second baggage drop at all costs in a desperate bid to shave the 30 minute wait for them to show up on the other side. I had packed with this in mind and we had one medium sized suitcase with all our things in plus a very large one which was pretty much empty, containing an empty, large wheeled hold-all. Success. We sailed up the escalator, onto the monorail down to the ME check in desk and walked straight up. I had packed my documents back into my backpack so when the CM asked if I could get my reservation number I rattled it off to him and he roared with laughter. He was so funny. He said, “Ma’m, in all my years here I have never had anyone recite the number out of their head to me!” My response was simple: “ADR’s” He nodded that he completely understood. We walked out and our bus was waiting. There were two other couples and one little boy on there and we left immediately. Quick stop at OKW and SSR then on to POFQ.

I had meant to do OLCI for the resort and just never got around to it, but no need on this occasion. Again, walked right up to the desk with my documents and passport and we were checked in and on our way to our room within 5 minutes. We got building 5, second floor as requested, right near the pool and a couple of doors from the staircase. It was spitting distance from the boat dock too. Full marks for POFQ

We strolled along to the foodcourt to acquaint ourselves with our new surroundings and collect our refillable mugs. I needed my rootbeer!!! I then went to see where the nearest DSA was and found two, right outside the main building. While there I chatted to a lovely lady about WDW in general and she mentioned that she is a DISer – just out of the blue. My face lit up and I told her I am on the DIS too. Before I could ask her what her screen name is she asked me “Are you 2Tiggies?” I was stunned. Was I wearing a badge or something? Lol, she knew from the POFQ thread that I was arriving that day so she took a flying guess. For some reason that just made my day!

By now it was pushing 10 pm and DD still insisted she didn’t want to eat. I wanted salad, but I knew they salad section closed at 10 pm so I was pushing her and we went in. Of course I was too late so she got her food and I used a snack credit for a side salad from the grab n go fridge. Not to worry, we were about to eat like never before for the next two weeks. By now I was really tired and still feeling a bit iffy from the cold I had so we went to check out the pool and then moved up to our room to unpack and settle in. I wanted the park bag packed for the next day so we didn’t muck about in the morning. DD likes to take her time doing things. I like to have things ready, grab and go so organisation was going to be the key factor here.

To my utter disbelief, by midnight DD was still hopping about the room like the Duracell Bunny, but I know my child and was braced for the usual crash landing at any point. 12.15 am (she had now been up and awake for 26 hours) she asked for the 20th time if it was Epcot in the morning and as she said the words, she collapsed forward onto the bed and remained in that position until the next morning.

Evidence of a loooooong day!

It was strange arriving in the evening. Can you believe that DD still wanted to go to DTD on our arrival night. She couldn't seem to understand why we were doing things differently this year.

Next up will be our first full day. I didn't really have any interesting pics from departure day and I know everyone is waiting for some. Don't worry, there are plenty.

Last edited by 2Tiggies; 03-13-2011 at 01:40 PM. Reason: Updated title
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #2
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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Great start!! Looking forward to more!
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:48 AM   #4
Dreams really can come true !!!!
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A great start !
What's it like to be famous
Looking forward to the next update.................Enjoy!!!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:33 AM   #5
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Great start! Looking forward to hearing the rest.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:27 AM   #6
A six foot palm from Wal-Mart would make a very festive Christmas tree
Especially if covered with FROG ornaments!
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Loved reading that! felt like i was over there myself! great start
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:39 AM   #7
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Great start,could you tell me did you have to fill in the green forms on the flight out, or just the white one?-thanks
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:55 AM   #8
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Great post. 2 months today we will be somewhere over the Atlantic.

Mrs. F always gets stressed with me as I can't relax until I have got to the airport, dumped the car, checked it etc.

Fingers cross for no snow come 22/12 otherwise the trip over "the big hill" to Manchester could be fun!
Tight Yorkshireman looking forward to saying "How much!!" to the kids for 2 weeks at Christmas
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:14 AM   #9
I am subscribing to this thread just so I can see your shirt
I like those water proof containers that hang around my neck on a lanyard
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Originally Posted by JonFozz View Post
Great post. 2 months today we will be somewhere over the Atlantic.

Mrs. F always gets stressed with me as I can't relax until I have got to the airport, dumped the car, checked it etc.

Fingers cross for no snow come 22/12 otherwise the trip over "the big hill" to Manchester could be fun!
Oh definitely no snow! We had a double dose last year!

I would love to go for Christmas time - I just can't imagine Florida in cooler weather.
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:50 AM   #10
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Can't wait to read more!!

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Old 10-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #12
I am subscribing to this thread just so I can see your shirt
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Day 1: Epcot and Downtown Disney

In spite of our late night even by EST standards, we were up and ready to leave our room just after 7 am. It was our first full day and it had finally sunk in that we were actually there. We took a stroll around the grounds and pool area to get a good look at it in the daylight. It was dark when we arrived the night before so things looked quite different – beautiful! I was happy. The world could do no wrong by me!

We collected our mugs from our room and made our way to the foodcourt. We got a cinnamon roll and 2 juices and I took a fruit bowl as a snack.

It was our Epcot day. We love Epcot and it usually works out to be the best park on our first full day so we went to wait for the bus which arrived a couple of minutes after we did, getting us to the park in time for park opening.

We made our way straight to Soarin and grabbed a FP. The standby line was only 15 minutes but we wanted to get to Test Track before it got busy and from my experience, you usually have about an hour to work with if you want to avoid lines once the park has opened before having to make choices and wait lengthy periods between obtaining FPs so off to TT we went. We stopped for some photos on the way but it was walk on. We toyed with the idea of riding again but since we wanted to do the Character Spot I thought it best to head over there straight away. It was a good move as the line was already building. We only waited about 15 minutes but when we went through the place was packed in the queuing area behind us. We met Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald - they are the static characters at this meet n greet so you do know who you are going to get, but it is nice to be able to queue once for all 5 so it is one line where a slightly longer wait is justified IMO.

We were now ready to go and use our FP to ride Soarin. We made a quick stop at Club Cool for our soda samples. I wanted to get DD one of those Build & Fill mugs, but they have temporarily stopped doing them and are waiting for a new range to be introduced. We headed back to The Land, rode Soarin’ and went to do Living with the Land while we were there. DD was trying to decide if we should do Circle of Life but there was still a fair wait until the next show and Finding Nemo was on the cards so we headed in that direction and rode good old Nemo. We stopped at Mousegear for about half an hour to have a browse and DD wanted to try on some of the character hats (she loves trying on hats).

The plan was to leave Epcot by 3 pm as we wanted to have a quick swim in the pool and had intended to go to DHS for Fantasmic that night, although as it was an EMH night with 2 shows of F! we had DTD as a more likely backup. It also felt a bit strange that we hadn’t had our arrival night dinner and stroll around there this time. I didn’t want to rush but wanted to make the most of our time that morning. We were making our way to Morocco to eat lunch at Tangierine Cafe so we stopped to get DD a frozen strawberry bar and then headed to TT to grab a FP for on our way out the park. It was perfectly timed and gave us just over 2 hours to eat on the other side of the world and get back to ride it, meaning we would leave the park as scheduled, before 3 pm.

We walked around WS anti-clockwise. It made little difference which way we went but I wanted to go against the flow a bit because crowds in WS were really starting to build with the F&W and all the booths and little tables take up that much more space in the walkways, making it feel busier than it actually is. We saw Marie in France so DD stopped for an autograph and a photo. I was thoroughly enjoying seeing evidence that the sky still is blue beneath all the constant cloud cover we seem to live under. Blue is a great colour!

Edging our way toward the Morocco Pavillion it started to feel very crowded. Again, I think part of it has to do with all the extra stands and things out, but once we got into Tangierine Cafe it was actually very quiet. We decided to share a chicken & lamb platter. I don’t eat red meat but DD loves lamb and no matter what you order there, the portions are huge so this gave some variety and kept us both happy.

We couldn’t finish it between us. I ate most of the sides and DD had the meat but we were thirsty and gulping down the large soda between us and still left quite a bit of food on the plate. We also couldn’t eat the baklava which we should have picked on with the meal instead of saving it until we were so full. It was getting hot out in the sun and I wasn’t going to carry leftovers around with me. You learn with the QSDP not to try and save anything up – there is plenty food!

We continued in our anti-clockwise direction through the WS and rode TT again using our FPs before exiting the park and heading back to the resort. This is what DD was waiting for: time on the waterslide. She LOVED it and I must admit I had a few goes on it as well. There had been mixed reports as to whether there was an age limit for this slide but adults and kids alike were having the time of their lives. We had now decided to skip Fantasmic and go to DTD for dinner. On arriving back at our room from our swim we noticed our two angel towel animals, one above each bed. We hadn't noticed them in our quick dash in to get changed earlier.

We showered, changed and took the boat across at about 6 pm. It is a beautiful ride and I think quicker than the bus. The journey takes about 15 minutes and the boats are very regular and they also eliminate the extra time spent on the bus going through all the Riverside stops.

We walked around the shops at the Marketplace for a couple of hours. WPE was very busy so we headed over to where they were doing a dance party for the kids and DD spent a good hour or so having fun over there before we headed back to WPE around 9 pm, which was now empty. I ordered the salmon and a fruit bowl. DD had a kids pizza and we each had a fruit bowl. We were really hungry by now so the fruit was demolished before the food came. As usual we couldn’t finish our food, but it was a great meal. WPE never fails to disappoint when they serve up the grub. They get 10/10 for service, atmosphere, presentation and taste. They have just the right amount of fennel to compliment the other flavours without overpowering them.

For some reason I always have to take a photo of the giant Tinkertoy. I remember spending hours on end playing with it as a child.

We made our way back to the boat dock at about 10.15 pm to avoid the scramble for the last boat back at 11. We timed it perfectly again and walked straight onto the boat and set off down the Sassagoula, this time in the dark, to POFQ. It was so pretty looking back at DTD from the river at night with all the lights on. If I had a decent camera/lens for my good camera it would have made a beautiful picture. The water was like glass. There was not a breath of wind that night. This was heaven on earth! We went to fill up our mugs at the foodcourt and went and sat at the pool for an hour or so just enjoying being there. There were still moments when I found it hard to digest that we were really there again. We went back to our room to open up our bags from DTD and sit and inspect and admire our purchases before a quick shower and into bed at midnight. That concluded the first wonderful day of our 2010 trip.

Day 1 rating:

Got it right:
We stuck to our plan and achieved all we wanted to for today.
Good steady pace
Break at the pool was good for us

Could have done differently:
With a chance for a re-do, I wouldn’t have changed anything about today except perhaps we could have gone to eat dinner 30 minutes earlier. We were ravenous by 9 pm, 8 hours after our last meal and had a sudden short-lived spell of crankiness while waiting for our food at WPE.

Next up: Day 2 – Magic Kingdom
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:29 PM   #13
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Loving your report. I am so pleased to read you loved POFQ (and the photos are great!) - we stay there for 5 nights in December.

Looking forward to the next installment.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:19 AM   #14
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Great start Lee

I know what you mean about "airline" food Poor Harriet has never had a decent meal yet, if a meal at all!!!!!

Really looking forward to reading more
Me DH DD (17) DD (14) DD (3)
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:22 AM   #15
I am subscribing to this thread just so I can see your shirt
I like those water proof containers that hang around my neck on a lanyard
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Oh cool All these new friends who have dropped in! It's like a party. Hooray! Nothing quite like some more guests to motivate me to do the next installment. I want to get the next post up by tonight - hopefully not tooooooo late!

Oh Paula I know what you mean about the food. I had actually given up by this flight anyway to tell you the truth, which is why I had my own food for DD. What was really annoying on the way back (such surly crew) was DD didn't want her food but she wanted to colour in on her seatback tray/table thingy. So I stacked our food on mine so she had space to put it. Well when clear away time came, I had to take it all apart and pass it over as separate trays and the stewardess was noticably annoyed and actually dumped the stuff on the tray of the guy next to us - who was not part of our party. I would have apologised to him but he had bought brandy at Duty Free and had been swigging it out of the bottle which he had stashed in the pocket behind the seat in front of him and the smell was making me feel ill.
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