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Old 12-30-2013, 01:37 AM   #1
DisneyLifer87
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The Trip Report that (almost) never was.... a January 2013 TR ~ (Completed 4/17)

Well, hello and thanks for finding me! This has been a trip report long in the making - a year to be precise. Unfortunately, the reason for each delay (2 failed attempts, to be accurate) is from multiple poor life events. But, I am ready now to devote time and energy to finishing this trip report. Finally! Before I explain the events that led to the delay in this TR, let's introduce the cast for those who may not know us (and who are not into checking the PTR).

Cast of Characters



This was a trip just for DH and myself like it usually is. Our fourth time traveling to the World together and unfortunately a break is going to happen between this one and the next - DH claims he is Disney-ed out . We will try to change that.

Me: Meagan, or Lifer on the DIS. I'm a 26 year old English Language Arts teacher for an online charter high school. I'm also currently working on my Masters in teaching and a certification for postsecondary adjunct professorship.
DH: Matt, 25 year old who works as an overnight baker for Panera Bread and will shorty be the reason I become very fat. I just can't say no to those pastries that come home!

The Details
January 19th - 26th, 2013 (Saturday to Saturday)
We stayed at the Pop Century Resort in the 60's with park hopper tickets and the dining plan. I do not have food pictures, however I will review each place we visited!

ADR reviews: - in order of appearance, look for the GREEN text within the daily post-
Earl of Sandwich (dinner)
Flame Tree BBQ (lunch)
Le Cellier Steakhouse (dinner)
Backlot Express (lunch)
50's PrimeTime Cafe (dinner)
Yorkshire County Fish Stand (lunch)
La Cantina de San Angel (lunch)
Coral Reef (dinner)
Casey's Corner (lunch)
'Ohana (dinner)
Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe (lunch)
Be Our Guest (dinner)
Kouzzina (dinner)


Coming up I shall explain how we came to be a year late on a TR that almost never was.
__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making

Last edited by DisneyLifer87; 04-17-2014 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:41 AM   #2
DisneyLifer87
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Table of Contents

Chapters

0 - Why this TR almost didn't happen
01 - Day One - Heading to the World!
02 - Day Two - Animal Kingdom and Nala souvenirs!
03 - Day Two, part 2 - The Safari of a Lifetime and farewell to AK
04 - Day Two, part 3 - Le Cellier and Illuminations
05 - Day Three - We're Movie Stars!
06 - Day Three, part 2 - Rain, rain, go away!
07 - Day Three, part 3 - Time Travels with a Bit of Magic!
08 - Day Four - EPCOT and a random act of romance (RAOR)?
09 - Day Five - Water Parks or more?
10 - Day Five, part 2 - Ohana means Family!
11 - Day Six - Making Magical Memories at Magic Kingdom
12 - Day Six, part 2 - Magical Nighttime!
13 - Day Seven - Swimming, but a Poor Ending
14 - Day Eight - Headaches and Heading Home
__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making

Last edited by DisneyLifer87; 04-17-2014 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:00 AM   #3
DisneyLifer87
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Why this TR almost wasn't made...

The Trip Report that (almost) wasn't...

If you browse to my PTR for this Winter Getaway, you will notice that we are fur-baby enthusiasts. Prior to our January trip we had introduced a new kitten into our family after losing our 18 year old, Nala. Alex was a great companion to our elderly Simba and a wonderful addition to our family.

The first failed attempt...

Shortly after our return from vacation, Alex fell very ill. My trip report had started, but went on a hiatus. After a week of ER hospital visits and thousands of dollars later, we learned that Alex had a heart murmur which was causing him to throw frequent blood clots in his lungs, heart, legs, and kidneys. We had to humanely put down our kitten at 10 months old after only having him in our family for 6 months. It was a difficult time for both DH and myself, but also on our elderly Simba who had now lost two companions. We did find it in our hearts to adopt another kitten on a bitterly cold February morning. She is now a year old and a energetic lift to our spirits. Her name is Belle

She is much bigger and a bit fatter now, but still as devilish as she appears. Our Christmas tree only lasted 3 weeks, just to give you an idea.

The second failed attempt...

I decided in March to attempt another shot at a TR. This was an even shorter failure! My grandmother who had been suffering from dementia was moved to an assistant living facility in April and her memory declined rapidly. Needless to say, the TR was put on a back burner as my family and I tried to adjust to this change. Then, of course, I was licensed as a teacher and began an extensive job search and, well... the TR just fell away.

Grandma suffered a series of seizures in November before Thanksgiving, but made an amazing recovery. I visited her the week after Thanksgiving and she recognized me and DH. We shared some laughs, exchanged hugs and kisses, and told each other we loved one another. A few weeks later, Grandma suffered a stroke and sadly passed on December 16th. The holidays have been very difficult, but now I am looking forward to a better 2014 and with a fresh start comes a fresh attempt at this cursed TR!

I hope you will join me on this adventure!

__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making

Last edited by DisneyLifer87; 12-30-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:47 AM   #4
NoOrdinaryPrincess
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I'm on board. Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
DisneyLifer87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoOrdinaryPrincess View Post
I'm on board. Can't wait to hear more!
Welcome! So happy you could join in!

And also a fond hello to any lurkers nearby. I am going to post our first day in just a few short moments. (Delay in having some issues with picture formatting.
__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
DisneyLifer87
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Journey to the World!

Day One - Heading to the World! (1/19/13)

--The Journey--
For our first day we had a little bit of a later flight. I woke DH around 8:00am so we could finish up some last minute morning packing and preparations. I double checked our flight was on time, which it was, and we left the house around 9:30am right on time.
We headed to my mother's house where we were going to leave the cars for the week, as well as hitch a ride to the airport (an easy decision when I realized that if it snowed and our apartment elected to plow, no one would be around to move the vehicles). We transferred luggage to her car and headed for Minneapolis with surprisingly little traffic. The whole security check was fast and the airport was really quiet for a Saturday afternoon. DH and I were through everything by 11:30am and began wondering what to do for the next hour and a half before take off. We grabbed some lunch at Taco Bell (great dining already.. right? ) and then headed to our terminal where I did some homework before take off.
The flight itself was smooth and we landed as scheduled by 5:00pm. We got right onto a ME bus and rode off to our happy place.

.... now I did not take ANY pictures this night because I was tired and we were moving around way too much. However, I will continue on with the evening...

--We're HERE!!--
We checked in at Pop Century and found that we were in the 60's building which made me happy. But then I learned we had a ground level as requested (!!) and it was NOT facing the pool (!!!) so I was happy from the get go. We detoured through the food court to get our complimentary mugs (I didn't know till then that they were included on the DDP). They are the same designs from 2011 which is sad, but I got a pink one (I had a black at home) and DH got a blue one since he lost the blue one we got in 2011. We found our room, dropped off our stuff and just headed out. The weather was a little chilly with the sun down (mid 50's) but we had just come from Minnesota so it was a heat wave in comparison to the 19 degrees we had left. Still sweatshirt weather by far.

--Downtown Disney--
We waited for a bus from Pop with a lot of other people. I mean... a lot. I seriously hoped this was not a sign of bad things to come. DH told me it was Saturday night and people were probably just looking for dinner like we were - it was 7:00pm roughly anyway. So off we went (standing the whole ride). And when we got to Downtown Disney?.....

......

Just wall to wall people. Cheer groups and high school aged tour groups. I had never in all of my years seen it this insane! DH and I didn't even know what to do, but we knew we needed food. We headed to Earl of Sandwich and waited 35 min () for some food. Granted, we had never been and we were starving so dirt would have been appetizing, but let's do a little review:

Earl of Sandwich
Again, I apologize for the lack of food pictures. And for some reason on this evening I forgot to keep the receipt so I'm even lacking on prices! I swear this is the only missing one! I got a lot better!
DH and I both ordered the Earl's Club which was fantastic. The bread was very soft and the bacon had a lot of flavor. Zero complaints from this department. I ordered my side of red potato salad and DH got a dessert, the chocolate mousse. We used the dining plan and paid nothing out of pocket, but I think the total was around $25 with drinks.

Rating: 5/5 stars. We'd do this again if we were in DD and needed a meal. It's a great use of QS credits.


--DisneyQuest--
After DD we did wander over to DisneyQuest to check it out. Really, I don't get it. We only spent about an hour here playing Fix it Felix and PacMan. We did ride the virtual Pirates of the Caribbean which was fun, but nothing too special. It was crowded here and we were tired, so by 10pm we left and headed back to the hotel. Unfortunately the night ended here after some luggage unpacking, but it was nice to be home again.

I feel bad for the lack of photos in this post, so I will give you a sneak peak of what day two shall bring:
__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:43 PM   #7
courtneybelle
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Hi Meagan, I'm on board for this one! I am excited to head back to Pop Century very soon.

DTD is pretty crazy on weekend nights so I can't imagine how insane it was with the groups!

The safari pics are AMAZING, the elephant is my favorite so adorable!

This next trip is my first one where I'll be 21 and I am VERY excited to try that slushie, so I'm glad you recommend it!
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
scottny
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great updates and pics so far.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:08 PM   #9
DisneyLifer87
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Thanks and welcome to both of you!

I will try to get an update in tonight!
__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:43 AM   #10
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Day Three - We're movie stars!

Day Three - We're movie stars! (1/21/13)

After a good night of rest, DH and I were ready to embark on our second full Disney day. We slept in a bit today against my better judgement, but still managed to get out of the hotel by 9:30am. DH wasn't feeling breakfast yet, so we filled our mugs and hopped on a bus bound for DHS. Fortunately this is not too far from Pop Century so we made it into the gates by just after 10am and headed directly to Toy Story Mania which was already at 30min, but we simply snagged a few fastpasses and moved on to join the Voyage of a certain mermaid we all know and love. This wasn't planned, but the show was about to start, so we ducked in. I was a little nervous for time because Beauty and the Beast was starting very soon, however we did make it in enough time (albeit we had bad seating, but an awesome zoom on the camera). Enjoy.





I love this show so much. It's just magical and well done!

At this point DH was starting to get a little hungry and, therefore, cranky. We headed over to Star Tours because it was only a little after 11am and most lunch spots were working on opening. We did not have to wait too long in the line for Star Tours before we were riding along. I don't recall exactly what simulations we had at this point, sadly. But it was a great upgrade and I loved the experience

Afterwards we moved to Backlot Express for some lunch:
Backlot Express Review
Truthfully the Backlot Express had a lot of food options, but DH and I were really in the mood for hot dogs with all of the fixins'. We also had some french fries and our desserts of chocolate cheesecake and strawberry parfait. It was all pretty average food for Disney standards. No complaints, but no raves.


After lunch it was nearing 1pm which, at DHS means one important event.... that I will cover next time!

__________________


Jan 2009: Pop Engagement Celebration
May 2010: CBR Wedding Trip
September 2011: A POPtastic Anniversary Pre-Trip Report Trip Report
January 2013: A Winter Getaway PreTrip Report Trip Report
He says no, but I'll find a way to go! ~ A December PTR in the making
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:32 AM   #11
scottny
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Great update and pics.

I missed Beauty and the Beast this last trip. Great show.
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