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Old 08-13-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
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The Harris Family's Fantastical Voyage on the Disney Fantasy: August 3-10

Hello Everyone! And welcome to my very first trip report. My family and I just got home from our first ever Disney Cruise sailing the beautiful Disney Fantasy to the Western Caribbean. But before I dive into our trip I’d like to formally introduce my family and I.

To the very right is me, Emily. I’m fifteen years old. Turning sixteen in December, and I love everything Disney. It’s been a dream of mine for the past four years to go on a Disney Cruise, and I’m so proud to say that my dream has become a reality! Next to me is my mom, Kim. She’s a pianist and a music/performing arts teacher at my old school. She also loves Disney and was very much looking forward to going on this cruise. To the left of my mom is my dad. He’s a very goofy guy, and really likes to embarrass my sister and I… mainly in public. Like my mom, he too is a musician, and he is a Professor of Jazz at a local college. At the far left is my sister Madelyn. She’s nineteen years old, almost twenty (YIKES!!) and is going to be a junior at college.
Well there you have it! Now that we’re all introduced let’s get this show on the road.

The Pre-Trip Report
Our vacation started bright and early on August 2nd. Here’s a pic of my luggage packed up and ready to go.

We had to get up around 5:00 a.m. in order to make our 8:40 flight. It was still dark outside when we loaded up the car. Then we were on the road. It was about an hour drive from our house to LA so we arrived at the airport around 6:00.

After checking in we went through security, and headed towards our gate. My sister and I were in the mood for some Starbucks so we went to go wait in line.

And there was a line indeed. It took us about 45 minutes to get our order in. But it was well worth it.

While drinking my lovely Chai Tea Frappuccino, my mom and I watched our plane get ready to load the passengers on.

It was about a 15-minute wait until we boarded. There were a lot of families that were going to Walt Disney World, but there was actually a family that was going on our same cruise! It's such a small world.
Virgin America is a really cool airline. When you board they have this awesome mood lighting.

And personal televisions for every guest!

Here's the view from my seat.

And before I knew it we were off in the sky. Here’s a pic of the personal television with a map to show us where are plane was. It was a pretty neat feature.

I loved these cloud formations.

Finally after 5 hours we landed in Orlando. Woohoo! Let the vacation officially begin!

What’s really cool about MCO is that they have a Hyatt hotel inside the airport. My family and I stayed there for the night.

Here’s a sign regarding Disney Cruise Line guests.

Besides being a big fan of Disney I also LOVE Harry Potter, so my mom and I decided that it would be fitting for us to spend the rest of the day at Universal to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. So in order to make the most of our time we went to our room to drop off our luggage.

Continued in the Next Post:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:46 PM   #2
Earning My Ears
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

My mom and I took a taxi, and within 15 minutes I could see the Hogwarts castle off in the distance! (You can see it if you look to the right of the light post in the middle of the picture.) I couldn’t believe that we were actually there!

We practically ran through city walk to the gates of Islands of Adventure, and then dodged all of the people to get to Hogsmeade.

Off to the side, if any of you have seen the movie Aquamarine, I saw the star Sara Paxton at Citywalk. It was pretty awesome!

When I walked into Hogsmeade I was in complete awe. I was actually in the movie/book of Harry Potter! It was stunning!

I was also very pleased with how many people there were. I was anticipating a huge crowd, but it was very pleasant. I didn’t have to wait more than 30 minutes for any ride. Score!
After a whole day of travel my mom and I were famished so we went over to the three broomsticks to get some dinner.

Here’s the menu:

My mom went in line to order the food while I went the Hogshead Pub to get some Frozen Butterbeer.
I love the attention to details!

I found a nice table for two in the back and I waited for my mom to come with the food. She ordered Fish and Chips, and I got the Shepherd’s Pie.
She’s holding the shepherds pie in the photo, and the fish and chips are in the bottom left corner.

A close up pic

The shepherd’s pie was FANTASTIC! I definitely recommend it.
After we ate, it was time for me to try my butterbeer.

Oh my goodness it was SOOO GOOD! I am officially addicted to frozen butterbeer.

After eating we walked around Hogsmeade exploring all of the shops.

Honeydukes is really fun to look at!

I love all of these treats. They looked incredible.

Zonkos joke shop is pretty cool. It’s fairly small, but there are a lot of hidden things: Such as these Extendable Ears hanging from the ceiling.

After meandering around Zonkos and Honeydukes, we went to Ollivanders. Now, I heard that some people had to wait such a long time just to see the show that Ollivanders puts on, but when I was there we only had to wait 5 minutes!

In the next post:
More Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:47 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
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We then decided to go on Harry’s Forbidden Journey ride in the Hogwarts Castle. The wait was 25 minutes. And went by very fast. First off, here’s a breath-taking picture of the beautiful Hogwarts Castle.

At the beginning of the line you enter the Herbology Classroom.

Some Mandrakes.

Then you enter a corridor inside of the Castle.

Going into this ride I was expecting in to be just like Soarin from California Adventure, but it was nothing like that at all. You literally feel like your flying a broomstick with Harry and Ron. You almost go upside down, there’s twists, turns, sudden stops. And can I say, it was awesome! One of the best ride’s I’ve ever been on. If you’re a thrill seeker, this is a ride for you. After the ride (sorry I couldn’t take any pictures inside of the ride, it was way too dark and you couldn't use flash) I stopped to take this super cool photo. My personal favorite of the WWoHP.

I then went to ride the Flight of the Hippogriff. It was really fun, and very fast!
In the line they have Hagrid’s House.

And Buckbeat!

At this point my mom and I were getting pretty tired. So we did a little bit of shopping. And we saw the Monster’s Book of Monster’s.

We left the park just when it was about to close. So about 10:00ish.

We had such a great time at the WWoHP, but little did I know how much excitement our Disney Cruise would bring us!

Coming up soon: Boarding the Disney Fantasy!
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
Done after 34-1/2 Years!
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We were also on this cruise

Can't wait to read your overall review: FANTAStic
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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What a great start, looking forward to reading more! We also stayed at the Hyatt MCO before our 2011 cruise and hope to do it in 2014 also!
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:05 PM   #6
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Great pics!
For the love of Disney...
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:51 PM   #7
Earning My Ears
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Originally Posted by lwilliam View Post
Can't wait to read your overall review: FANTAStic
Thanks so much! More is coming soon!
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:39 AM   #8
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Just joined in - we travel to Florida from Australia in November - cant wait o hear all about your cruise!
Darren (Instagram - darrenf67)

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #9
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You are off to a great start! I love WWOHP! Can't wait for the new addition some of these days.

Jill in CO
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:06 PM   #10
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I am loving your pics!
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:14 PM   #11
I just love coming here and visiting with you
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Your enthusiasm has given me a smile that just won't go away. This is one of the best trip reports. Your pictures are incrediable - your descriptions perfect and your family absolutely adorable. Keep in coming
Give thanks in all things

Always planning for the next trip
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #12
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Great report! Your sister can be a Kate Middleton look a like.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:10 PM   #13
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Enjoying your trip report thus far! I loved WWoHP. I am really looking forward to the upcoming Universal HP addition and riding the Hogwarts Express. We sail on our first Disney Cruise next May on the Fantasy so I am really looking forward to reading the rest of your report. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:38 PM   #14
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Joining in. Great review so far.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:44 PM   #15
Earning My Ears
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Boarding the Disney Fantasy

The day has finally arrived! August 3rd 2013. My family and I got up around 8:30 in order to make one of the early Disney Cruise transportation busses. We ate breakfast at the Hyatt hotel. I wasn’t too hungry so I just had a strawberry smoothie while my mom and dad got some oatmeal. I think my sister just had an apple, because considering her Vegan diet she wasn’t able to eat anything else off of the menu.
After breakfast we went down into the airport to side B where the Disney’s Magical Express check in was. There are plenty of signs, so you won’t get lost.

Once at the check in desk, there are loads of very kind Disney castmembers waiting to assist you. We handed them our spiral notebook that we received in the mail a few weeks back and we were all checked in! Can you say simple or what?

We then had to wait in line for about 5 minutes or so to board the next available bus. While waiting my family and I me this family with an adorable little girl named Reagan. It was really nice to meet her because we kept seeing her and her family around the boat for the duration of our cruise.
Here’s the view of the busses from our line.

Before we knew it, it was time to get on the bus.

The rest of our bus was filled with excited passengers!

The bus ride from the MCO airport to Port Canaveral was about 45 minutes, but it went by real fast! To help the time go by, they showed a video about the cruise on the T.V’s along with mickey cartoons, and Disney trivia. Before we knew it we could see the Disney Fantasy off in the distance!

Wow that boat is beautiful! I couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing it in person after months of researching and seeing only photos. We then pulled up to the bus only parking and I got this pretty picture of the Fantasy.

We arrived at the terminal around 10:00, so we were one of the first people to get there. We breazed right through check in, and we got our key to the world cards and our personal navigator for the day. My sister and I found a table near the mickey ear portal and we started to plan our day’s adventures.

A nearly empty terminal.

After checking out our navigator, we saw Mickey Mouse heading toward the Disney Magic model to take some pictures. I ran into line, and we were the second family to take a picture with him. Unfortunately my mom was talking to some other family and she didn’t make it in this picture, but I still like it.

A sister shot with mickey.

After our little photo shoot with mickey we decided to go to the viewing deck and take some pictures next to the Fantasy.

After taking our pictures we went back to our little table to sit, wait, and people watch. I also went to go say hi to one of my friends that I was talking to for a while on the teen facebook page for our cruise. It was nice to actually meet her. (I love the friendly connections that the disboards can make.) About 45 minutes went by until they started boarding people. They started with group 1. Then 1-2. Then 1-3 and so on. We were group 11, so it took us about another 10 minutes until we were called. When they said group 1-11, I was jumping out of my seat with joy! It’s finally our turn! Yippee! We passed through the mickey ears, and into a hallway.

There were banners up and down the rows that read:

Talk about getting your passengers excited!

The castmembers scan your KTTW card and your officially ready to board. But first, they take a nice picture of your family.

The color’s a little off when I scanned our picture into the computer, because instead of our normal skin colors we kind of look like Oompa Loompas.

Now it was time to officially board. But when I looked out of the window it was raining! A full down pour! I guess this is what the unpredictable Florida storms are like. But never fear, the rain did not dampen our moods. When the Disney Castmember announced our family name to the ship we all whooped and shouted with joy. What a great moment. We were actually here! There weren’t that many people on board yet, so I decided this was a good time to drop off my picture frame for the characters to sign at guest services. After that we took a couple of “princess” style pictures.

Every girl deserves to be a princess right?

Before we went down to Enchanted Garden for lunch, we thought this was a good opportunity to take a picture in front of Mademoiselle Minnie.

Coming up Next: Lunch at Enchanted Garden
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