Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Completed Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


 
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-30-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

The Bear and the Bow: Christmas with the Mouses - Update 9/11

So I was planning this elaborate, amazing introduction all through two days of driving home. Then we hit Kansas and everything got lost in the severe ennui that everyone gets trapped in during a day of travel across Kansas (also may have gotten lost in the four loads of laundry I did yesterday!). Instead I'm reposting my introduction from the pre-trip report, with a few edits when necessary. Please, if you don't mind, imagine this to be a sparkling gem of an introduction post, shining with wit, humor, and irreverent pop culture references.

Seventeen days ago, we packed up a rented Chevy Cruse with two cats, a hedgehog, and as many pieces of luggage as humanly possible. We had one stop - the vet's - before hitting the road to begin a Grand Tour of middle America, with stops in the great tourist stops of Hayes, Kansas; Columbus, Missouri; and Peachtree City, Georgia. Destination? Tallahassee, Florida.

Okay, maybe not the final destination. But it was the first stop on a whirlwind tour of Florida, including Tallahassee, Ocala, and - of course - Orlando. We'd be spending a day at Universal, five at Disney, and five in Ocala. With those spoilers (whaaaat, we actually ended up in Disney?!? Surprise!).. onwards!

First, who are we?

1. Merida (or.. the bow. Also, this is the worst movie name change in the history of ever. Cool and evocative to Mel Gibson rip-off? Definite downgrade. Anyway! Iím a grad student in atmospheric science and 23. I love science and stories and parantheticals).


Itís possible that there was some artistic license here, maybe. But I never take pictures of people Ė especially me. Will this ever change? Stay tuned!
2. Bear (the boyfriend, also a grad student and as old as the hills (or 24ish))


Okay, maybe not quite that Bear. Mix that bear with some of this..


and get...


Better!
3. Our clan: 2 Siamese (of varying degrees) cats and a hedgehog.
Eventually I will have pictures here because all I do is take pictures of our animals.

What about the Disney (i.e., interesting) portion of the trip? We were officially on Disney property from the 15th through the 20th of December and enjoyed free dining and all the comforts of home at Port Orleans Riverside!

Sources: Merida screenshot, Bear concept art, and my gif folder!
__________________
Merida is offline  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

Chapter Links (or a shortcut through my painstakingly slow recount of our Disney extravaganza)

1: Beginning
1.1: Introductions
1.2: Travel Summary
1.3: There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow: Future Adventures

2: December 15th
2.1: Port of Entry
2.2: Hogsmeade
2.3: Finding the Lost Continent
2.4: In Which We Finally Leave the Islands of Adventure
2.5: Our Home Away from Home

3: December 16th
3.1 Being Fancypants at the GFlo
3.2 Entering the Land of Adventure
3.2 A Whole New World (or jk, NOW we're in Adventureland)
3.3 At Some Point, I Will Do Actual MK Touring
3.4 Breaking the Rules
3.5 You Mean You're Still Doing Things? (Are you sure you didn't get distracted somewhere??)
3.6 We Knew It Was Too Good to Last (or a meditation on the breezeway in Cinderella's Castle)
3.7 You Know You Like the Crocodile Best Too
3.8 Meet Me on Main Street
3.9 999 Scary Adventures
3.10 At the Plaza
3.11 Taking the Plunge
3.12 Dhatura Extract
3.13 A Very Merry Christmas to You
3.14 Cinderella Castle: A Retrospective

4: December 17th
4.1 Beware of the Yeti
4.2 Heaven on Earth: Dinoland
4.3 Esteemed Safari Guests
4.4 Ducks/Merida: OTP
4.5 You Can Never Have Too Many Dinosaurs
4.6 Friends and Family
4.7 Space Agriculture: The Final Frontier

5: December 18th
5.1 Flight Crew Only
5.2 Why, We Use Our Imagination!
5.3 Still No Cheddar Cheese Soup
5.4 World Showcase's Newest Attraction: Turtles
5.5 Around the World Part One
5.6 Around the World Part Two
5.7 On Spaceship Earth

6: December 19th
6.1 I'm Ready for My Closeup, Mr. DeVille
__________________

Last edited by Merida; 06-30-2012 at 03:56 PM.
Merida is offline  
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 12-31-2011, 06:35 AM   #3
Stringbean&Wingnut
DIS Veteran
 
Stringbean&Wingnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,989

Joining in!!!! Your description of Bear being as old as the hills made me laugh - I am less than 2 months older than Wingnut, and he LOVES to go on about how OLD I am. And that I will always be older. And did he mention old?

Can't wait to hear more!
Stringbean&Wingnut is offline  
Old 12-31-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
archdandy
DIS Veteran
 
archdandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 974

I'm joining in and can't wait to hear about your trip! Ahhh! You've got me so excited for our trip in a week. I kept thinking you guys were closer to the same day as us but I guess it was a little bit further off.
__________________

October 2013 Port Orleans Resort
May 2013 Animal Kingdom Kidani
October 2012 Art of Animation
January 2012 Port Orleans Resort
June 2011 Coronado Springs
September 2010 All Star Sports
archdandy is offline  
Old 12-31-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
duckylady
Mouseketeer
 
duckylady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ontario, canada
Posts: 119

YOU HAVE A HEDGEHOG AND CITED YOUR SOURCES BE STILL MY BEATING HEART

Totally agree on the name change for The Bear and the Bow, by the way. Did you hear that since they've started working on The Snow Queen again, they've changed the name to "Frozen"? I don't like this trend of using generic one-word titles for Disney movies, but idk maybe I'm just being dumb.

I'm excited to hear about your trip! c:
__________________
walt disney world ♥
december 1997 - offsite.
february/march 2007 - offsite.
february 2009 - coronado springs.
march 2012 - pop century.
august 2014 - pop century.
duckylady is offline  
Old 01-01-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
Nermel9
DIS Veteran
 
Nermel9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,655

Joining in! Can't wait to hear about your trip! Oh, and I'm totally jealous that you have a hedgehog!
__________________
My TR's/PTR's~12/13 TR~2/13 TR~11/12 TR!~11/12 PTR!~5/12 TR!~5/12 PTR!~12/11 TR!~10/11 TR!~10/11 PTR!~11/10 TR!~11/10 PTR!~Disneymoon TR 5/10!


Many family trips offsite~9/08 ASMu~11/09 WL~Disneymoon 5/10 BC~11/10 POR~10/11 WL~12/11 Pop~5/12 BC~11/12 AoA/POR~2/13 AKL/BLT
Nermel9 is offline  
Old 01-01-2012, 03:27 PM   #7
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

First, to all my new followers:


I hope everyone is having an enjoyable New Yearís Weekend; our healthy new year started out with a day of cinnamon rolls, popcorn, and smoothies while FINALLY going to see the new Muppets movie. We both really enjoyed it but it definitely wonít overtake Muppets Christmas Carol as my favorite Muppets movie. It falls somewhere after Muppets from Space (the opening sequence is so cute in the Muppet House) and Muppet Treasure Island as a generally good film, but not outstanding. Weíve moved on to our traditional Star Wars marathon for today (4-6 only; I canít watch the new trilogy for the same reason I canít commit fully to Harry Potter Ė too many simple mathematical mistakes in timelines, etc. Things like Ben Kenobi or Charlie Weasleyís age really jump out to me and I spend far too much time rationalizing things. At least Harry Potter is of an overall higher quality than the new Star Wars trilogy).


Iíve been going through my pictures and trying decide what to do for our travel days. Despite our lengthy trip, I have maybe 60 pictures from the road (my camera was stored in the back so I only had my 3GS as well. As much I love my phone, the camera isnít much to write home about). When the two of us travel, Bear drives and I either sleep or read. I hate highway/freeway driving and Bear gets nervous when I drive, so we donít take turns. Since entering grad school, Iíve had very little time for personal reading since thereís so much assigned reading to do. So when faced with about 8 hours (due to sunsets) of prime reading time, picture taking fell by the wayside. I was averaging about 2.5 books a day and quite a few of the 60 pictures are pictures of pages in lieu of sticky notes or annotation as reminders.


Pretty much the only other thing Iím good at on a road trip is making commentary on the pop songs that come up on the radio. I canít navigate from a map (I get turned around when trying to decide if the map and I are facing the same direction) and I can never make a quick decision if we should stop to eat, get gas, or stretch our legs at a rest stop. I also tend to want to get out at the worst rest stops.


So Bear was usually the one to identify things like trains, cars pulled over for speeding, roadkill, interesting license plates, and other traditional road trip imagery. Not that there was very much in Kansas! I was working my way through a book of con artists and looking up every once in a while when we passed a field of windmills. The two of us also play a half-hearted game of Zitch Cow during these trips and I was continually looking up to make sure Bear wasnít cheating (Iím pretty sure some of those cows were actually the small shrubs that are the native Kansas tree).


The only other interesting part of Kansas was watching new windmills being installed. While the trucks containing parts were usually right next to the freeway, the actual windmills were further back (in the background of the picture). I always forget just how large the windmills are, especially since they are so serene and peaceful when in operation. I love watching windmills and I probably spent the third largest chunk of my time in Kansas watching them spin since we tend to drive on blustery days.


Most of our stops were out of necessity since I had packed a small mini-martís worth of snacks in the back seat of the car. Sometimes, like a memorable gas station/Quiznoís combination store in Missouri, were themed interestingly. For some reason, the town had a Wonder Woman/Superman theme that extended to even the smallest details, like the bathroom. The Quiznoís was excellent but gas was steep $3.49/gallon and we were more in the $3.09/gallon price range that extended throughout most of the freeway.


Finally making it out of the Kansas/Missouri/Illinois area into Tennessee/Georgia was possibly the best moment of the car trip. The explosion of color occurring outside our car made me check to see if the road had changed into gold brick; Baum knew what he was doing, making Dorothyís home state Kansas.


However, even the verdant plantlife and sporadic horse farms (the only road trip game better than zitch dog is zitch horse) couldnít hold my attention forever and I again buried myself in books. Along the way to Tallahassee, we stopped in Peachtree City, GA to visit a college friend of Bearís. He works for the National Weather Service and gave a quick tour of the town. Although he disparaged the surburgatory nature, the town has golf cart lanes. How cool is that? I would love to live in a place where I could motor along in a little golf cart versus a normal-sized car. We stopped briefly in Tallahassee to pick up a different friend, weíll call him Mr. T(eddy Bear), who would be touring Islands of Adventure with us.


We finally pulled into Orlando at around eight that night. We were staying off site for the night of December 14th and had tentative plans to explore downtown Orlando before turning in early (we had gotten very little sleep in between Peachtree City and Tallahassee) and then head out as soon as possible to check in at Port Orleans. We ended up heading out for drinks and appetizers at Bear and my favorite restaurant, Cuba Libre. Bear tried to orient me to my location, but all I knew was that we were incredibly close to the Peabody and I couldnít go in and see the ducks. Instead we watched the Christmas lights, looked around the shopping center Cuba Libre was in, and (on my end) watched everyone take the exits to Disney.


I couldnít convince Bear to take the Disney exits and it was a long night and one disappointing continental breakfast later until I finally saw this. We were finally at Disney.
__________________

Last edited by Merida; 01-03-2012 at 08:59 PM.
Merida is offline  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
archdandy
DIS Veteran
 
archdandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 974

Woohoo an update! Wow! Georgia looks so much brighter and more vibrant than Kansas. I hope the drive wasn't too terrible. I hate driving long distances and I love to read (I use most of my spare time reading) but for I can't read in the car because I get nauseous, so lucky you! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
__________________

October 2013 Port Orleans Resort
May 2013 Animal Kingdom Kidani
October 2012 Art of Animation
January 2012 Port Orleans Resort
June 2011 Coronado Springs
September 2010 All Star Sports
archdandy is offline  
Old 01-02-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
Stringbean&Wingnut
DIS Veteran
 
Stringbean&Wingnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,989

That's awesome that you're able to read in the car - I used to be able to when I was a kid, but now I can barely read a sentence without getting nauseous! Glad that your drive didn't seem to be too bad!

Yay for making it under that Disney arch!!!
Stringbean&Wingnut is offline  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
Joining in!!!! Your description of Bear being as old as the hills made me laugh - I am less than 2 months older than Wingnut, and he LOVES to go on about how OLD I am. And that I will always be older. And did he mention old?

Can't wait to hear more!
The best (worst?) part is that Bear has a bit of a bad back so he always complains when he gets out of bed, eliciting more 'old man' cracks. It's just so easy. How could I pass that up??

Quote:
Originally Posted by archdandy View Post
I'm joining in and can't wait to hear about your trip! Ahhh! You've got me so excited for our trip in a week. I kept thinking you guys were closer to the same day as us but I guess it was a little bit further off.
Yeah, our trip was a bit awkward with dates because we were in so many different places. I want to try a January trip but Bear is convinced that it turns frigid as soon as January rolls around (of course, he actually lived in Florida so I'm sure he has a better idea of Florida weather than I do but still. NO CROWDS).

Quote:
Originally Posted by duckylady View Post
YOU HAVE A HEDGEHOG AND CITED YOUR SOURCES BE STILL MY BEATING HEART

Totally agree on the name change for The Bear and the Bow, by the way. Did you hear that since they've started working on The Snow Queen again, they've changed the name to "Frozen"? I don't like this trend of using generic one-word titles for Disney movies, but idk maybe I'm just being dumb.

I'm excited to hear about your trip! c:
My mom's a librarian, if I didn't cite sources I'm pretty sure she would hunt me down and.. lecture me. Or something. Ha, our hedgehog is too weird as a pet. He hides food in his bed so he doesn't have to come out during the day. I'll have to upload some pictures of him (most of them have the cats photobombing because they're obsessed with cameras).

IF THEY MESS UP SNOW QUEEN I QUIT LIFE. Seriously, Snow Queen and Twelve Dancing Princesses are my favorites and they are perfect just as they are. And calling it 'Frozen' misses the whole point, I think, because it makes Snow Queen sound like Frozone-turned-evil when she's so much more than that. And quite frankly, the strength of the Snow Queen story is Gerda (I mean really, who has strong feelings about Kai? NO ONE THAT'S WHO) and the movie's focus should be on her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
Joining in! Can't wait to hear about your trip! Oh, and I'm totally jealous that you have a hedgehog!
Thanks! We love our hedgehog, even though he isn't exactly the most hands-on pet. Usually they enjoy swimming and activities, which is super fun to watch - but ours doesn't. He does, however, excel at sticking his head in a toilet paper tube and running around which is almost as cute as swimming. But he's very low key and doesn't smell like all of those guinea pigs/hamsters/class pets that I brought home over the years.
__________________
Merida is offline  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:50 PM   #11
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

Quote:
Originally Posted by archdandy View Post
Woohoo an update! Wow! Georgia looks so much brighter and more vibrant than Kansas. I hope the drive wasn't too terrible. I hate driving long distances and I love to read (I use most of my spare time reading) but for I can't read in the car because I get nauseous, so lucky you! I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.
I actually think Kansas is very pretty, in small doses. It reminds me a lot of Scottish moors and my Secret Garden phase (okay, by phase I mean like my entire life but let's roll with it) and wind mills! I love wind mills! But to drive across it is really draining (there's also this weird part at the end where the freeway becomes a toll road and you have to do all this zigzagging which I don't recommend!).

You know, everyone I know seems to get motion sick when reading! I've never had any problems. Of course, I fall asleep really easily in any mode of transportation so I don't read as much in the car as I would like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
That's awesome that you're able to read in the car - I used to be able to when I was a kid, but now I can barely read a sentence without getting nauseous! Glad that your drive didn't seem to be too bad!

Yay for making it under that Disney arch!!!
See?? Everyone seems to grow into car sicknesses. Like allergies or lactose intolerance. I keep waiting for it to be my turn!

Too bad we'd be driving back underneath it like an hour later.
__________________
Merida is offline  
Old 01-15-2012, 08:58 PM   #12
IheartDDuck
DIS Veteran
 
IheartDDuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,217

I'm here! Going back to catch up!
__________________


Follow me on Instagram: @keep_calm_love_disney
Follow me on Twitter: @disney_voss
Danielle

In progress TRs:
My Fork and I Are Friends - Nov 14 TR
They Don't Eat Hash Browns in Princessland - May 14 TR
Completed TRs:
Jan 14 TR July.13 Apr. 13
Nov.12 July.12 Jan.12 Nov. '11 July '11 Feb. '11 Nov. 10 and Jan. 11 Oct. '09.
IheartDDuck is offline  
Old 01-18-2012, 06:11 PM   #13
archdandy
DIS Veteran
 
archdandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 974

It looks like I missed quite a bit while I was in disney! It's always hard to be somewhere on vacation and be with other people. DH and I have thought about going with his brother and his wife to disney before but we don't always get along on non-stressful theme park days so it probably isn't a good idea! I hope you got the chance to go back downtown because there is so much there to see!
__________________

October 2013 Port Orleans Resort
May 2013 Animal Kingdom Kidani
October 2012 Art of Animation
January 2012 Port Orleans Resort
June 2011 Coronado Springs
September 2010 All Star Sports
archdandy is offline  
Old 01-19-2012, 01:00 AM   #14
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nermel9 View Post
I'm sorry I missed so many updates, I'm so far behind!

IOA looks, well...not really like my type of thing! We always say we're going to go and then we don't, and I think there's a reason for that! I don't care about Spider Man, I know nothing about Harry Potter, and comic strips? Does anyone read those anymore? I do think the Seuss section is cute, and the Jurassic Park ride looks fun, but anything else seems like it would annoy me quickly! That's awesome that you were chosen to get a wand though, even I know what a big deal that is, knowing nothing about HP!

I love the new rooms at POR, it's about time they changed them! I loved the boat ride from POR to DTD, it sounds like it's really nice at night! We only used the boat once and it was during the day.

I love all of your DTD pictures! I haven't been in the Lego store in a while, but the displays look really cute! I love World of Disney, I could spend hours in there!

Isn't EoS the best place ever? There are so many places I want to eat at DTD, but I can't bring myself to not eat at EoS! Ugh, I can't stand Disney advice from random people...DIS'ers, yes, but random people no. There are times when people at work find out I'm going to Disney and they'll tell me things to do and I can't deal with it, I just have to smile and nod and try to escape!
It's okay! I've been bouncing around other trip report, I'm super behind on some and have read others like twenty times! It's weird how some times certain writing/photo styles are more interesting (or type of trip! I read like all the recent Disneyland Paris trip reports this past weekend).

Probably the one failure of Islands of Adventure was that it couldn't get me to care about anything in the park! Like, I'm not normally all about the Wild West and mining towns in real life, but I still really like Big Thunder Mountain. There's just something missing from IoA that keeps it from being a vacation destination for us.

Yes, Port Orleans is so nice and peaceful. They're even making Alligator Bayou much more palatable! It's a Disney miracle! I do wish Disney would update the website with new room pictures, I had to go searching the Internet to figure out that places like Yacht/Beach Club aren't entirely outdated with ugly bedspreads.

I liked Earl of Sandwich pretty well, but it wasn't my favorite sandwich ever. Maybe if it hadn't been so crowded (and I had picked a better sandwich! The Cannonballs was good but not what I was feeling that day). I do really want to go back but there's just so many good places in Downtown Disney! I definitely liked it a lot more than I thought I would and I'm pretty sure I will always get lost in World of Disney. There's just so many different kinds of stores to look in; I actually can't imagine what Disney was like in the souvenir heyday. To me, a souvenir novice, there's WAY more choice/variety than I could ever deal with and I can't believe there used to be more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stringbean&Wingnut View Post
I STILL have not been to EOS! Maybe someday...

I love all of the structures and colors around the Lego store. It's so fun there! I think the new Toy Story Buzz and Woody structure is so cute!
Earl was nice, but really crowded and I have had better sandwiches (I mean, the bread was good but not, like, amazing. I was pretty tired so it's not an objective review though!)

I know! I really wanted to play at the little tables outside but they were always swarmed with kids. Plus I wasn't really certain of the hygiene there... I wish they would add some labels to the statues; I can't remember which dwarf is which one was which!

Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartDDuck View Post
I'm here! Going back to catch up!
Yay! There's really not very much yet (esp. Disney) because, well, I'm slow and easily distracted by things like wedding photography (why are they all so pretty?!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by archdandy View Post
It looks like I missed quite a bit while I was in disney! It's always hard to be somewhere on vacation and be with other people. DH and I have thought about going with his brother and his wife to disney before but we don't always get along on non-stressful theme park days so it probably isn't a good idea! I hope you got the chance to go back downtown because there is so much there to see!
Haha, not really! School and our impossible foster kittens have really slowed down my efforts of going through pictures and such. Yeah, after talking with my boyfriend we've agreed that other people can come with us but a) they don't interrupt our morning routine/mornings in the parks b) OWN ROOMS and c) we don't spend all day with them.

We did go back to DTD a little on our last day, but just to grab some last minute souvenirs (my castle blanket!) and ended up getting lost after parking by the movie theater. So we definitely got to see more accidentally!
__________________
Merida is offline  
Old 01-24-2012, 11:11 PM   #15
Merida
DIS Veteran
 
Merida's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 735

Okay, I've fallen really far behind in the past week! School started and since both Bear and I are entering the last stretch of our masters' program, we've had a lot of talking to do about future plans and sort of mapping out the next few years (vacations included ). It took us a lot longer than we had thought because, well, we're scientists and will research everything! I've got the next batch of pictures edited and uploaded and will try and get the next post up tomorrow/before the weekend.
__________________
Merida is offline  
 



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: