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Old 01-25-2014, 02:50 PM   #1
librarygeek
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Velkommen! Touring Disney with my Norwegian friend! Dec. 2013 TR update 6/18/14

Welcome to my latest trip report!

The Background

Last summer my friend, who lives in Norway, contacted me. He said that he was going to a conference in Orlando for school, and was thinking about staying a few extra days to visit Disney World - and would I like to join him? Absolutely! We'd been penpals for years and met once in person before. With my AP, it was just the invitation I needed to make another trip to Disney!

Originally it was just going to be me and him, because my husband didn't think he could get the time off from work. However, about two months before we left he was able to rearrange some things and join us!

Table of Contents

Arrival Day
Downtown Disney and Our Pirate Room
Magic Kingdom Morning
Magic Kingdom Afternoon
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Epcot Morning
Drinking around the World, Part 1
Drinking around the World, Part 2
Animal Kingdom morning
Animal Kingdom Afternoon
Hollywood Studios morning
HS Evening, Osborne Lights, and Hollywood Brown Derby

About Us



My name is Becky, I'm 25 years old, and I've been married to Jason for 2 years. I'm a Disney fanatic and even have my own blog called Disney in your Day (www.disneyinyourday.com). I work as a children's librarian and do theater as a hobby - I have a pretty busy life!

My DH is Jason, and he's 24 years old (he's on the right in the picture). He works as software developer and loves everything technology and video game related. He is not as big of a Disney fan as me but it's definitely been rubbing off on him lately! I especally know this because he arranged his vacation time to be able to come on this trip

Finally, my penpal (PP) is Martin, who is 24 years old and lives in Norway (he's on the left in the picture). He is currently in medical school in Poland. He loves to travel - a few weeks after our Disney trip he had a two week trip to Africa! We've been writing and emailing back and forth since I was a senior in high school. This was his very first time in Disney World, though he'd visited Disneyland Paris before.

The Trip

We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, in a pirate room. Our trip was from Wednesday December 11th-Monday December 16th (though we were all leaving early Monday morning). That meant we had four full days for touring, so one day for each park! On our arrival day we had dinner at CBR and then went to DTD.

One of the coolest things about this trip was being able to experience it through the eyes of someone who had never been before. We had a ton of fun!

First post will be coming within the next day or two!

Last edited by librarygeek; 06-18-2014 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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Becky!!! Here and reporting for subbing.

So glad hubby was able to join you on this trip but of course a little bummed that it happened at the very end of mine. I'm really interested in seeing how Martin enjoyed his first Disney experience. And of course his impressions of "Norvay".
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:59 PM   #3
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Becky!!! Here and reporting for subbing.

So glad hubby was able to join you on this trip but of course a little bummed that it happened at the very end of mine. I'm really interested in seeing how Martin enjoyed his first Disney experience. And of course his impressions of "Norvay".
Welcome!! If the timing had just been a little closer it would've been awesome to meet you! Who knows, maybe on a future trip

And Martin was dying to check out Norway haha - we even had to make dinner reservations at Akershus!
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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Following along!
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
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Arrival Day

Our flight was at around 1:30 from Philadelphia, supposed to get us into Orlando by 4:00. We both decided it was a really nice time for a flight - it was late enough that we didn't have to get up early and the roads were clear of rush hour traffic, but early enough that we still got to enjoy the evening in WDW when we got there! We arrived at the airport around 11, only to find out that our flight was delayed by 40 minutes. That was a bit of a bummer but we just decided to head and get lunch at the airport - and luckily, we were in the terminal that had Earl of Sandwich! The perfect way to start off a trip to Disney



We had more time to kill than we had anticipated, so we just explored the airport for a bit. There was a photo op area that had been set up for Christmas, so of course we decided to get some picture taking done already!





Most of the people walking by us were business looking people that looked at us a little funny, but hey, it was there - and we were ready to be tourists! Why pass up a good photo op when you find one?

Finally our plane took off, and we had no problems on the flight there, arriving in Orlando around 5pm. We had a dinner scheduled at Shutters at Caribbean Beach for 6:30, so I thought it might be close but it still seemed like we would be okay. We had done magical express for our luggage so we didn't have to pick that up, we could head straight for the buses!

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with magical express. I love the fact that it's free and will get me where I need to go, and I don't have to worry about renting a car or driving (I really do not enjoy driving). However, it feels like for me it always takes foreverrrrr to get going, and at that point I just desperately want to be at Disney as soon as possible! I get really anxious about stuff like that, so I'm just worrying the whole time that we'll miss our reservation. Last time we were delayed and we did end up missing our dinner reservation, and it was frustrating. I think I remember hearing now that they are going to do a credit card reservation for all table service restaurants, so I guess we won't be scheduling any more table service meals for arrival day. Too stressful that way.

This time unfortunately was no different. We waited about 20 minutes to get on a bus, but then waited probably over half an hour for the bus to actually leave. I understand they want to wait to get as many people on as possible, but it just feels like torture sitting there and not going to Disney World! by the time we left it was already 6, so it was going to be really close to our reservation.


We arrived at CBR right around 6:30. I didn't realize at first that the resort was so big - I mean, I'd heard that it was large but I guess I didn't comprehend it. We've stayed at POR but we don't mind walking and never had a problem walking where we needed to go. At CBR that was impossible. I had planned to do dinner first and then check in, but when I realized the check-in building was different than the main building with the restaurants/shops, I thought we might as well check in while we were there. So I go to do that only to find out that Martin had already checked in so we were good! Oh well. We then hopped on the internal resort shuttle to go to Shutters, arriving around 7pm.



I wasn't too worried because I didn't think Shutters was terribly popular, and I was right. The place was almost empty and they had no problem seating us immediately. Martin was originally going to join us for dinner but he had emailed me (we didn't have phones that could communicate because he was international) and said he had decided to eat something earlier because he had gotten hungry. He was with another friend from Norway who was at the medical convention with him, and his friend was leaving the next day but didn't have a place to stay - so was it all right if he stayed the night with us? I said sure, but they'd have to be willing to share a bed!

Jason and I sat down for dinner, and both of us started off with a tropical drink! It had snowed before we left and it felt nice to be somewhere warm. I definitely enjoyed this:



The food at Shutters was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I'll be doing a detailed look in my dining review. As we were eating Martin actually walked through the hallway (we were right on the edge of the restaurant and could see into the main area of the building) so he came in and sat down to chat with us for awhile and say hello! The waitress didn't bat an eye at another person at our table (we were at a four seater) and offered to get him a drink if he wanted. Then about 15 minutes later Martin's friend came and found us and sat down too! We had to laugh about how we kept multiplying, but luckily the waitress was totally cool with it.

After eating we all decided to head to Downtown Disney for the evening before retiring for the night!
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:46 PM   #7
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Yeah, I had heard about the new policy of potentially requiring passports for alcohol. I think it may even include the parks. I think it's a pretty recent thing.

Haha, nah, the sugar won't keep you up, lol.

I tell you Becky, there is nothing quite like a themed room, and that room is THEMED!! Pretty cool!
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:22 PM   #8
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I am in! I love adults only TRs!
Welcome!! I see from your ticker that you have a trip coming up... if you do a TR let me know and I'll follow along!

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Yeah, I had heard about the new policy of potentially requiring passports for alcohol. I think it may even include the parks. I think it's a pretty recent thing.

Haha, nah, the sugar won't keep you up, lol.

I tell you Becky, there is nothing quite like a themed room, and that room is THEMED!! Pretty cool!
Oh, the policy definitely includes the parks. But that's a story that is later to come

I know what you mean on the themed rooms! I loved it. And we're staying in a Royal Room in a few weeks so I can't wait to check that out either!
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:00 AM   #9
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I think I had heard of a new policy about that.
Cute room.
Great update and pics.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:03 PM   #10
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Wonderful update!
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:07 PM   #11
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I think I had heard of a new policy about that.
Cute room.
Great update and pics.
Thanks! Glad you're following along!

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Wonderful update!
Thank you!
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:49 AM   #12
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Your pirate room looks super cool! So much detail, it's crazy!

All those Christmas decorations are making me extra excited for my trip in December. Sounds like you had a great Magic Kingdom morning!

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:09 PM   #13
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Wow, EMH and a party that night? You've got guts!

Yes, the tracks are for sure different on Space. I can never remember which is which though.

Haha, yeah, Pan is seriously low tech, but I agree; That's the charm.

I am definitely with your hubby. I won't even bother with BTM unless it's dark out.

I am with you on FP+, and you know, this is something nobody else ever really mentions. We all used FP based on the what the wait time was. Now booking 60 days in advance, who the heck knows??? Yes, you can change your FP, but only if there's any available. It's a little frustrating to potentially waste a FP, especially with only 3.

I have to admit, I fell in love with Be Our Guest last trip. Such a beautiful restaurant.
I know... it was all about that nap in between. And we didn't end up staying for the entire Christmas party.

Okay, glad to know I'm not crazy about the Space Mountain thing

And I'm also surprised that I don't see that complaint more often with FP+! To me that's the most frustrating thing about it. The whole point was you only needed one if the wait was too long, but now you just have to guess and assume the wait is going to be long or short. And with the "tiers" of attractions, like choosing between Test Track and Soarin', the only good way to get on both is to go at park opening and do one, while getting a FP for the other.

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Catching up - as usual…..

Wow - international travelers have to show a passport to prove age? How incredibly inconvenient.

The pirate room is cute - not my thing at all, but I bet a lot of little boys would LOVE that! How fun! I can’t believe your luggage wasn’t there yet though; thank goodness it arrived right after you got the room. Phew!

Love the early MK start!!! I think that’s my absolute favorite part of a WDW vacation - getting to the MK bright and early that first day with the whole vacation laid out in front of me. Perfect! And Christmas decorations on top of that! Beyond perfection! REALLY good call to do Peter Pan - anytime you can do that with a minimal wait, it is a must do in my opinion!

I’m so glad you had another great experience at BoG. I think we will try lunch next time. I am in love with the Christmas tree ornaments - I would totally buy those too!
Yeah, I liked the themeing of the pirate room though it's not really my thing either. Though I appreciate anything that's themed really well. I am super excited to stay in a Royal Room is two weeks though!!

I never did morning EMH before because I hate getting up early... but after this awesome experience it's definitely something I want to do again.

And trying BoG for lunch is a good idea too - it's a more reasonable price to pay for the atmosphere if you end up not liking the food again, although we had a good experience (I'll be posting our lunch review in my dining thread soon! Probably Thursday since it sounds like we'll be having another snow day...)

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Joining in!

Your pirate room looks super cool! So much detail, it's crazy!

All those Christmas decorations are making me extra excited for my trip in December. Sounds like you had a great Magic Kingdom morning!

Can't wait to read more!
Welcome! Glad to have you along! The pirate room was so detailed, Disney does that so well! It also makes me really excited to see a Royal Room at POR.

Yes, Christmas at Disney is truly magical!
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:26 PM   #14
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Great update and pics.
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