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Old 07-14-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
bellebookworm9
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Lost Moms, SPF 80, and RideMax Plans, Oh My! A May 2010 Trip Report-FINAL Update 8/23

Welcome to my trip report! If you're interested in the background of this trip, click the link to my PTR in my signature. Now for the basics:

Who: Me (Gretchen) and Mom (Debbie)

What: Our dream vacation!

When: May 17-28, 2010

Where: Kidani Village (Animal Kingdom Lodge) Standard View Studio

Why: Because we love it!

Other Info: Places we ate at that I will be mini reviewing (for full reviews, there's a link in my signature) as we go include:
~Mara (AKL)
~Crystal Palace (MK)
~Columbia Harbour House (MK)
~Ohana (Poly)
~Backlot Express (DHS)
~Earl of Sandwich (DTD)
~Wolfgang Puck Express (DTD)
~Ghirardelli (DTD)
~Le Cellier (Epcot)
~Kringla Bakeri og Kafe (Epcot)
~Maji Pool Bar (AKL)
~Liberty Tree Tavern (MK)
~Cosmic Ray's (MK)
~50's Prime Time Cafe (DHS)
~Boma (AKL)
~Sunshine Seasons (Epcot)

Here's our cast.

Me: Gretchen. 19 year old speech math major at SUNY Geneseo. I'm currently working there as an Orientation Advisor for the summer. Unfortunately, this job will be over on the 19th and I'll have tons of free time to scrapbook our trip and work on this report. I've been in love with Disney for...FOREVER but don't get there nearly as often as I'd like to.



Mom: Debbie. 53 year old team leader at an organization called Community Services. She just began this job last week and really likes it so far. Not quite as addicted to Disney as I am, but became a bit closer to it on this trip!



So there's all your basic info. Stay tuned for more!

__________________
Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-14-2010, 10:13 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

MAY 17th-TRAVEL & ARRIVAL DAY
"Well, yeaaaaah" & "Hurry Up, Sweetheart"
"We've Arrived at Kidani"-Part 1
"We've Arrived at Kidani"-Part 2
"MMMMMMMMM"


MAY 18th-MAGIC KINGDOM DAY 1
"This is Nuts!"
"Do you have a prince at home?"
"Eric, you have your own page! That never happens!"


MAY 19th-BLIZZARD BEACH DAY
"You have to smile"
"I haven't learned how to stop yet!"
"Well, now I know where all the Beach Party songs came from..."
"I didn't feel outclassed at the Polynesian, but I do here"


MAY 20th-DISNEY STUDIOS DAY 1
"Hey Poptart, can I have some?"
"Mike will be out in 1 minute"
"Can we swim under people?"


MAY 21st-DOWNTOWN DISNEY DAY
"I Don't Understand This!"
"I can tell you from experience, it don't taste like neither!"
Yes, we are those people with the matching shirts!


MAY 22nd-EPCOT DAY 1
"Da? What am I, a little Jewish boy?"
"I'm quite familiar with that school"
"This is so relaxing I could fall asleep!" "Or not."


MAY 23rd-ANIMAL KINGDOM DAY
"That was it?!"
Please just give me back my Photopass card!!
I thought this water was heated?!


MAY 24th-MAGIC KINGDOM DAY 2
"That's a side of you I don't see very often!"
Meeting the Big Cheese!
"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears..."
"I Lost My Mom!"
"There's a great big beautiful tomorrow!"
"On this magic night, we cast a spell that can't be broken..."-SpectroMagic Part 1
"...Let this night forever live in our dreams!"-SpectroMagic Part 2
"We put our faith and hope on a shooting star..."


MAY 25th-DISNEY STUDIOS DAY 2
"Guess I should have checked my notes..."
Tale as old as time...
"It's only 7:15, but..."
"Dreams are make believe but when they all come true..."
"Every day we make progress."


MAY 26th-TYPHOON LAGOON DAY
"Are you sure this bus is going to Typhoon Lagoon?"
"You got the wine & dine plan, right?"


MAY 27th-EPCOT DAY 2
"This is our future?!"
"I'm going to put you on a leash!"
"My arm does not bend that way!"
"Another thousand circles round the sun, we go on"


MAY 28th-DEPARTURE DAY

"You will receive exactly 4.5 pretzels"

Final Thoughts and Future Plans

__________________
Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-15-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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"Well, yeaaaah" & "Hurry up, sweetheart"

The day we left was finally here! It was time and six months of waiting was over! We had decided that my grandma would drive us to the airport, so a few day earlier we had done a dry run and gotten a little confused, but knew where we were going. After some last minute packing, we were all set.
Here's our luggage waiting by the door:


And here's my countdown calendar all crossed off:


Grandma dropped us off at the Buffalo airport at 10:30am. We went to the Southwest counter to check our bags. I had checked us in online the day before and gotten us A40 & A41 boarding passes. Not bad at all. We then proceeded to the security line. It looked long but it moved pretty quickly.I was originally a bit worried because my first name is not on my license. I've never understood why. But it didn't give me any trouble, thank goodness. There was a guard with a small German Shepard walking around. The dog was very well behaved, just sniffed the bags and moved on, but since I'm afraid of dogs I was a little nervous. A man ahead of us asked if this was normal for the dogs to be out, since he was a frequent traveler and had never seen them before. The guard said no, they're normally outside, but they bring them inside occasionally to all the people.

I put my stuff in the bin to send it through the machine. Now here's where the title quotes come in. I went to walk through the detector thing, and forgot that I had my sunglasses/lanyard around my neck. The guard was incredibly rude. He told me to take it off and put it in a bowl. I went over, and there were the normal bins, and what looked like dog food bowls. I held up the bowl to ask if that was right, and he said, very sarcastically, "Well, yeah." So I put it in and walked back over to the machine. He said, again very sarcastically, "Hurry up, sweetheart, we don't have all day." Well, excuse me for not being a frequent traveler.

After that unfriendly start to the day, we headed over to our gate. We put our stuff down and went to find some lunch. Which Wich was our choice. It was a very interesting concept. They had a menu board near some paper bags. Each sandwich had a corresponding bag with the options for that sandwich. You check off what you want on the bag and hand it to the cashier. When it's ready, they call your name. It was very cool. Mom and I split a turkey reuben and a chocolate chip cookie.

We still had some time to kill, so we went back to the gate. I did a Disney princess word search Mom had gotten me, and she read a book. There was a family across from us who had tagged their carry ons with ME tags for whatever reason. However, this let me see that they would be going to Port Orleans Riverside. They were very funny, as they had their brochure from the planning DVD and were figuring out what they wanted to do.

The flight left on time, around 12pm. We sat in the 5th row from the back on the right, looking towards the back of the plane. Mom took the window and I took the middle. Another woman took the aisle seat, and she slept the whole time. Mom had taken meds for anxiety and motion sickness, so she slept through most of the flight. I on the other hand sat in my chair, listening to my iPod and just gripping my tray for dear life. I thought I was clever because I had made a "flights" playlist. The first song? "Airplanes" by B.o.B. ft. Hayley Williams.

We landed on time, but it took quite a bit of time to get from the runway to the gate. While we were taxi-ing to the gate, the head flight attendant sang us a song (to the tune of Oscar Mayer):

My airline has a first name, it's S-O-U-T-H
My airline has a second name, it's W-E-S-T
And if you ask us why we fly we say
Cause Southwest Airlines has a way of bringing sunshine to my day!

We de-planed and stopped at the bathroom. Then we made our way to the fake monorail and got off. Now, the ME map showed us how to get to the waiting area, but as we tried to follow it we found it was blocked. We stopped to ask an employee, who re-directed us around the blocked off area. It wasn't too big of a problem and we soon were on our way again.

Now that we were on our way to Magical Express, would the lines be long? How would the weather be?

We've arrived at Kidani-Part 1
__________________
Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-16-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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"We've Arrived at Kidani" (Lots of pictures beginning now)

We were walking that looooong walk down the B side ground floor to get to Magical Express. Finally, I could see it! As we got closer, I saw a few people, but I thought the hordes must be hiding somewhere. Nope. There was NO line at all. We breezed right through the initial check in to line A2. From there it was only about a 2 minute wait to be put on a bus. The line next to us seemed to have a grand gathering going to Coronado Springs, because the Mickey hand employee kept asking people coming through that line if they were the rest of the party.

We felt the humidity the instant we stepped outside. The sky had been getting progressively darker since we had landed. I kid you not, the second we stepped on the bus , the heavens opened. It was my first experience with those infamous Florida thunderstorms, but luckily, I didn't have to experience many more of them. The storm lessened as we got closer to Disney, thank goodness. This was the view from our window of the storm:


Anyway, we had been put on a cruise bus, which I was a little bit sad about. It was maybe 1/3 full. We had to stop at three other resorts. But first, we made it under the Disney World sign!



Our first stop was at Caribbean Beach. A bunch of people got off here. Here's the bush outside while we were waiting to turn into the resort.




To exit that resort, we drove around the outer loop of the whole thing. People aren't kidding, that resort is really big. I'm familiar with how it's laid out and I was confused. Our next stop was:


A bunch more people got off here and soon it was only us and one other couple. We headed toward Animal Kingdom Lodge. Here's the guard shack:


We stopped at Jambo House first.




Next we were finally heading to Kidani!!






If you didn't know, one of the themes of the resort is proverbs. This one is right outside the doors to the lobby.


We were handed our carry ons and headed into the lobby. There was no line. In fact, during our stay the resort didn't seem to be overly crowded. I asked about putting my credit card on my room key, and mom's credit card on her key, but they said only one card for the room. I had asked here on the DIS before we left if this would be allowed, and was told yes, so I'm not sure what was up with that. We had done online check in, and I had requested a room on a higher floor near the lobby. Would these requests be met?

We've arrived at Kidani-Part 2
__________________
Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-16-2010, 08:49 PM   #5
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We were given room 7509. As the cast member showed us the map, I could tell our requests had been met. Facing the resort, we were in the first "bead" to the right of the lobby, in the second to last room. We were also on the top floor. We headed up to see the room.



The room was gorgeous, but I wanted to see our view! We had a standard view, but it wasn't too shabby.


Looking left (that's the bus stop):


Looking center (that building kind of behind the trees is the fitness center):


Looking right (the porte cochere):


Then I went back in the room and started snapping away:












When you first walk into the room, the kitchenette is on your left and the bathroom is on the right. In the bathroom, the vanity is straight ahead, the tub is to your left, and the toilet is in its own room to the right. Continuing into the room, on your left past the kitchenette is the connecting door, then a small closet with the safe. Stepping past that you come to the main part of the room. The couch, bed, and nightstand are on your right. The armoire, dresser/entertainment center, and table & chairs are on your left. There are two coffee tables in front of the couch as well.

At this point we were hungry, so we decided we would walk over to the Mara. We walked down the hallway to the last elevator that would take us outside. On the way, we saw some animal friends.




Here's another proverb ("He who does not know the road holds back the one who does"):


Once we got outside, we saw this funny sign:


In New York, they're called speed bumps, so I was entertained. We figured out that we had to go into the Jambo House lobby, down two levels, outside near the pool, and then back inside to Mara.

What would we get, and what would we do for the rest of the evening?

MMMMMMMMM
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Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-16-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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"mmmmmmm"

When we got to Mara, I knew we wanted to try the African stew and zebra domes. I also wanted to get a refillable mug. We are used to the All Star food court, where there are different stations, and you go up to that station and order. We tried that, but were quickly set straight. At Mara, you wait in a central line and somebody is walking around asking what you want. They write it down, then you hand the paper to the person behind the counter. After you do that, you're given one of the buzzers. We only waited a few minutes for the stew to be ready. To drink, we got the Gold Peak White Tea with Citrus. It was DELICIOUS, as was the rest of the meal.


I now understand the hype about zebra domes. They were AMAZING. They started a trend on this trip: Mom takes a bite of something and proceeds to go "MMMMMMMM" for about five minutes. Our only complaint was that the stew was a smaller portion than expected, considering we shared. But we ate the bread bowl too and that helped to fill us up.

We walked back to Kidani (about 10 minutes at most) and took a bunch of pictures along the way. Here's the waterfall area outside of Jiko at Jambo House.


Each parking section is named after a Lion King character.


I love that mural. It's so beautiful and simplistic.




We stopped at the front desk because we wanted to see if we could get our park tickets put on our room keys. No problem, they just had to cut us new keys. While I was waiting for those, mom went to Bell Services, because I had ordered groceries from Garden Grocer. When she gave them our last name, they said "Oh, your luggage just arrived from Magical Express, so we'll bring everything up together in a few moments. If I recall, you have a 32 pack of water, so we'll save you the hassle of carrying that." Now that's service right there. We did a bit more exploring. Here's the "library":

A list of the activities offered during May:


We also stopped in Johari Treasures to look for postcards, as I had promised friends I would get signatures for them.

As promised, our groceries and luggage were delivered promptly. Garden Grocer sent everything I had ordered and I was very happy with them. We unpacked (mom took the armoire and the left side of the dresser, and I had the left side of the dresser). When we finished with that I took some pictures of mom. We were celebrating the approximate halfway point between our birthdays, and personal triumphs. Here she is with her buttons:


Mom also really liked the bed, so she took another picture of it.


It wasn't too late yet, so we went down to the pool. It was a few minutes walk, but nothing too bad. We had to go down to the lobby, outside, along the outside of the building and through a gate. Once there, we were amazed. I LOVED this pool. It had a FANTASTIC slide; it started behind a bridge so you couldn't see where it started, and had a lot of spirals (let me say though, that because parents couldn't see when their kids were coming down, they got quite the surprise when I came shooting off the slide!) It was a zero entry pool and a decent size. "The Country Bears" was playing-movies were offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. We also checked out the Uwanja Camp play area for kids. What fun! It had water guns, a fort, slides, dripping/spraying water everywhere, and even a small "wading" pool of 1-2 inches for really small kids. I think mom went in one of the hot tubs near the pool at some point, too. We wanted to get to bed early since we had an 8am ADR at Crystal Palace the following morning. Before we hit the hay, we were treated to this gorgeous surprise from our balcony:


I also took a photo of the sofa-bed unfolded. It does take up a lot of room, especially with the coffee tables. I was stuffed in the corner at the table to take this.


So there you have it, our first day in the World. Would we make it to Crystal Palace on time the next morning? What attractions would we do first?

"This is nuts!"
__________________
Gretchen
*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


Last edited by bellebookworm9; 09-25-2011 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:56 PM   #7
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"This is Nuts!"

Tuesday morning arrived dark and early. We were out at the bus stop by this time:


We waited about 15 minutes for our Magic Kingdom bus to arrive; both Disney Studios & Epcot buses passed by while we waited and told us the MK bus should be there soon. Here's a picture of the morning fog while we waited:



When our bus did arrive, the driver was very friendly. He talked to us about Buffalo sports for most of the ride. Although we are not really sports people at this point, we do (unfortunately) live about 5 minutes from the Bill stadium and my parents used to have season tickets to the Sabres games when I was a toddler.

We were the only people to get on at either Kidani or Jambo. It was only about 20 minutes before we arrived at the Magic Kingdom stop and we began our way through the maze-like path that goes to the front gates. We lined up at the turnstiles and waited only a few minutes before they let us into the plaza before the train station. In only 10 minutes the line behind us looked like this:


We waited about 10-15 minutes before we were admitted into the park; we were the second family in. As we were walking down Main Street, I took some obligatory castle pictures.



We also stopped to get some Photopass Pictures.



As we headed toward Crystal Palace, there was a cast member outside near the hub asking people if they were in the park for breakfast and handing out menus, recommending Crystal Palace. Well, since it was shortly after 8 on a non EMH morning, why else would anyone be in the park (unless they had a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique appointment)? We got in the line to let them know we were there, and only waited about two minutes after that to be called. Our server was Amir from Pakistan and we really liked him. Between mom and I, we got Mickey waffles, Pooh's Puffed French Toast, scrambled eggs, donuts, biscuits, bacon, cinnamon buns, and breakfast pizza. Mom also got Pooh's Peach Casserole, which was essentially peach bread pudding. We shared a plate of fruit. Everything was delicious!




The characters were great here. Eeyore was especially adorable, waving sadly in the pictures. (See him on my shirt?) Tigger was such a flirt! He was dancing with me and kissing me.







I had marked on the reservation that we were celebrating, so Amir brought us cupcakes and cards signed by the characters.




We made it out at right around 9am and hightailed it to Pirates of the Caribbean. Before the trip, I had purchased RideMax, which is basically the customizable version of the Touring Plans offered in the Unofficial Guide. You enter the attractions you want to do, your FASTPASS preferences, any breaks you want, your walking speed, etc, and it gives you a customized plan that estimates how much time you'll spend waiting/walking to each attraction. This was the first time we'd be using it and Mom was very skeptical. She thought we'd be too over scheduled. Here was the test.

As we walked through the empty Pirates queue and got closer to the loading docks, Mom said "This is nuts!" I think she was sold right then and there. I think there were only 2-3 other people in our boat. That ride has great music and is very well done. However, my night vision is terrible, and it's hard for me to see things when it's that dark. After we disembarked, we headed over to the Jungle Cruise. Again, we walked right on, but the boat was full. Now, as everyone knows, your experience on this ride completely depends on your skipper. Thankfully, ours was great. His timing was great and he wasn't overly corny (well, as not corny as you can be with that script!)

At this point we were a bit ahead of our schedule, so we stopped for a bathroom break. We were looking for those bathrooms between Adventureland and Frontierland, which of course took us about 10 minutes to find! After that, I spotted Frontierland Donald, so we went to meet him.


Now we were a few minutes behind schedule, but I was hoping it wouldn't affect things too badly. It turned out to be fine. The plan called for me to go on Splash Mountain next. I walked right on that, too. I had the front row to myself. The drop was not as bad as I remembered and I only got a little damp. Next we headed to Big Thunder Mountain to get FPs. We had decided that we would get two; if mom decided to ride, she'd use one, if not, I'd ride again using the other instead of getting one for later.

"Do you have a prince at home?"
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-19-2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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"Do you have a prince at home?"

While waiting for our return time, we headed over to Tom Sawyer Island. We waited only briefly for a raft. I had heard from many people that the fort was really cool, and read on mickeystoontown (Lisa's) trip report that if you turned left and kept going straight you'd get there. Sure enough, we found it. Unfortunately, the island didn't really hold our interest and we stayed only about 15 minutes. This put us way ahead of schedule, as RideMax had planned on us staying for 45. That was fine though, because it was now time for our trip through the mine town!

Here are some shots taken from the island before we left.





Mom had talked to a cast member who told her that there were no drops and it wasn't very high, so she decided she would ride. At the top of the stairs, the FP and standby line merged, so that added a bit to our wait time, but it still wasn't too bad. We sat towards the back and Mom laughed the whole time! Here she is afterward.



We got FPs for me to use later for both Splash and Big Thunder. We were way ahead of schedule, but continued on to the next thing on our list: The Haunted Mansion! Again, the darkness was a little much, but not as bad on Pirates. I love the music on this ride as well.


I really, really wanted to meet Tiana and Naveen, so we set out to find them before we took our afternoon break. We discovered their little hideaway and waited about 15 minutes to meet them. Well worth the wait! They were some of the most in character cast members I encountered. At one point, we had a conversation that went like this.

Tiana: Do you have a prince at home?
Me: No.
Naveen: No? We need to fix that. I think I saw a frog hopping around here earlier. (Leads me to back of gazebo overlooking part of the moat) Do you see him? No, he must have left.
Me: That's too bad.
Tiana: Don't worry, you'll find one. But don't go kissing any toads now, they aren't the same!
(And picture that whole conversation in their accents from the movie!)



It was around noon when we arrived at the bus stop and we had to wait about 20 minutes for a bus. There was a mom and younger daughter also waiting for the bus and we conversed with them for awhile .They told us they'd had breakfast at Chef Mickey's that morning and it was one of the best they'd been too, especially now that the kids were older. I was a little sad, because I had canceled our CM ADR for budget reasons. Mom went to Kidani, but I stayed on to go to Jambo. We hadn't ordered condiments from Garden Grocer because they were too large in size. Unfortunately, the mustard & mayonnaise at Mara were in dispensers, so I had to walk back to Kidani carrying a little paper cup of mustard. When I arrived, Mom was already napping. This was there from Mousekeeping.


I ate a sandwich and played on the computer until it was time to leave again.

Meeting Ariel was high on my list, but would we get to? Would we get to ride everything we had planned for that evening? How long would we wait for Wishes?

"Eric, you've got your own page! That never happens!"
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #9
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"Eric, you've got your own page! That never happens!"

After our break, we headed out to the bus stop. This was around 3:15. We waited about 15 minutes for a bus. The first one that came had to load an ECV and was having trouble, but only a few minutes later another one came, so we took that one.

Once we arrived at the Magic Kingdom, our immediate destination was the Adventureland Veranda to meet Ariel. Much to my dismay, her line was closed until the 4:45 session. Now, I was a little confused because the Times Guide said she meets from 10am-4:45pm. I thought this meant she was done for the day at 4:45, but apparently it means that's when her last session starts. I could have not met Ariel, but I promised a friend her autograph, so we decided to have dinner while we waited for the line to reopen.

This took us to Columbia Harbour House. We ordered the Anchors Away (tuna) sandwich. The receipt said it came with chips, but we didn't get any. Oh well. We took the sandwich upstairs and sat in the room overlooking Fantasyland.





After the delicious sandwich we headed back to Adventureland. Mom didn't want to stand in line with me, so she looked at some of the shops nearby. I waited about 30 minutes. Ariel & Prince Eric were finishing up their current session, took a break, and then there were several families ahead of me. One teenage girl ahead of me held up the line because she sang them a song. The family ahead of me was quite obnoxious, they were complaining about everything, and the mom was loud about it, because she was talking to the dad who was waiting out of the line with the youngest. Finally, it was my turn! Well, worth the wait. Before I left, I had created an autograph book using the Creative DISign board. This included an autograph page with Eric's picture on it. He and Ariel were thrilled; they said he hardly ever gets his own specific page! They also talked about my birthday. When I gave them the postcard to sign for my friend, we talked about the animals on the back (it was a picture of AKL and the savannah) and they told me their names for elephants and giraffes. You can tell we had a good time:





1)I love Ariel's dress.
2)After we left, mom said she thought Eric actually looked like a girl.

Since we were right there, we stopped at Aloha Isle for an infamous Dole Whip.


It was light and refreshing. We really had to stir it up though, otherwise the whip was really sweet and the juice was not. Mom told me she had seen some things at the shops that she wanted me to look at, so we looked at the little carts next to the Tree House, and at the store near the Magic Carpets. She saw a chunk of amethyst that she might want to get for Grandma, but we decided to hold off for now.

It was time for more attractions. We headed back to Liberty Square and caught the Liberty Belle right as it was about to pull out from the dock. We found it to be boring and hot as there was no breeze, but we did get some funny pictures.






The Hall of Presidents was next on our list, so we headed over there. First, we took a picture of the Liberty Bell.


We waited about 15 minutes for the HoP to begin, but we passed the time by looking at the cool artifacts and photos in the lobby. The show was interesting, but I prefer the American Adventure in terms of patriotic shows.

We decided to take a trip on the Railroad, since we had some extra time. We walked over to the Frontierland station and waited about 3 minutes for our train to arrive. We sat in the second to last row, as there weren't a lot of open seats. It was relaxing, breezy journey, though there weren't a lot of sights to see. One new thing I did learn though was that the train passes over the scene in Splash Mountain right after you come out of the Briar Patch and the animals are singing "zip a dee doo dah" on the boat. You can see right down into it!

After the train, I decided I would do Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain using my FPs. So I headed to Splash first, no wait with the FP, and got the back row all to myself. Again, I barely got wet. I stopped at the bathroom, and right as I was about to re button my shorts, the button fell off! Luckily I had a belt on, so the damage wasn't too noticeable. I decided I didn't want to ride Big Thunder after all, so I went to find mom. It took me a few minutes, but I did find her. We headed over to the Tiki Room and walked right in. It was soooo bizarre and I have to agree with the Unofficial Guide about it: What were they on when they thought that up?! At least I can say I've done it, but I won't be visiting it again for many years.

The only things we skipped that we had planned/ would do if we had extra time were Swiss Family Treehouse and the Country Bears. No big loss on either of those. We still had a bit of time before Wishes, so we decided we'd go shopping on Main Street.

On the way there I decided I'd take a picture of Crystal Palace and try the "panoramic" setting on the camera. (That's Mom in the red shirt taking a picture on her phone).


We went in to the Emporium and looked around, and I bought my scrapbook. It's blue, shiny, and says 2010 on it. I decided to make use of the handy service of having it shipped to Kidani. Mom decided she wanted chocolate covered strawberries, and I wanted corn dog nuggets from Casey's, so we split up and agreed we'd meet back at Town Square. The nuggets were delicious and plentiful. Mom was unsuccessful in her quest; the confectionery didn't have the strawberries. We grabbed a bench near City Hall and waited for Wishes, with the understanding that we'd move in front of the exit tunnels when the show started to ensure an easy exit afterward. Here's a picture I took from our bench of Main Street/Town Square.


When the show was about to start, we moved, and were next to a family whose grandmother was wearing the same Eeyore shirt I was! We complemented each others fashion sense. The show started and we (quietly and on key) sang along. Normally, the noise from fireworks scares me (I have sensitive ears), but these weren't too bad. I was surprised by the hoards of people who left after the first 1/3 of the show. Maybe they thought it was over? I'm not sure, but we stayed until the last firework, then turned and power walked to the bus. We only waited about 5 minutes, but it was one of those waits where basically every single other resort has at least one bus pass you. When it did arrive, everyone did manage to fit, and almost everyone got a seat. I think there were three dads with strollers that ended up standing. This was the first of many times that we'd hear this recording when leaving a park (the fact that I have it memorized should tell you how often I heard it!): "Welcome aboard the Walt Disney World Transportation System! We're on our way to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, an African paradise where animals roam freely outside your window. We'll make stops at Jambo House and Kidani Village. For your safety and the safety of others, please remain seated at all times. If you are standing, we encourage you to make use of the hand rails above or to the sides. We also ask that you refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking while on board the motor coach. Thank you and we'll be home soon." We arrived back at Kidani about 20 minutes later and headed to bed.

The next day would take us to Blizzard Beach. Would we make it for opening? Would I ride Summit Plummet and the chair lift? If I did, would I make it down in one piece?

"You have to smile."
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn


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Old 07-22-2010, 01:32 PM   #10
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hey just popping in to say i'm here and i'm enjoying your report so far!
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:49 PM   #11
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Great report so far! I'm a 19 year old college student as well and was there part of the time that you were (I was there from May 12-19) haha, so I'm definitely enjoying reading things from your point of view . I tried that tuna sandwich from CHH on my trip too, I thought it was delicious. And I love that birthday cake from Mousekeeping you got, I've never seen that before! Very nice .

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinaweena View Post
hey just popping in to say i'm here and i'm enjoying your report so far!
Hi! I'm so glad people are popping out of the woodwork to say they're reading! I'm heading over to your TR right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alisonwonderland64 View Post
Great report so far! I'm a 19 year old college student as well and was there part of the time that you were (I was there from May 12-19) haha, so I'm definitely enjoying reading things from your point of view . I tried that tuna sandwich from CHH on my trip too, I thought it was delicious. And I love that birthday cake from Mousekeeping you got, I've never seen that before! Very nice .

Can't wait to read more!
Hi! There were a lot of DISers there around the same time-but I didn't run into any. I really enjoyed the sandwich, mom thought it was just okay, but we had a lot of other really good food on this trip. The birthday cake was adorable and we brought it home with us. I see that you stayed at Boardwalk Villas. What did you think of it? Did you stay in a studio? We're hoping to go to Food & Wine in 2011, and debating between BWV, BCV, Kidani, and OKW. OKW and BW would be cheapest, but any opinions would be helpful!
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*1992-Offsite *1994-Offsite *2/15-20, 2007-All Star Music *5/17-28, 2010-Kidani Village @ AKL Dining *10/7-11, 2011-Beach Club Villas Dining *1/10-11, 2012-Old Key West *1/2012-10/2013 WDWCP/Seasonal CM at Epcot Main Entrance *2/9-12, 2012-Coronado Springs *5/10-5/11, 2012-All Star Music Four Months of Disney Dining *5/22-26,2012-All Star Sports *5/26-27, 2012-Port Orleans French Quarter *12/17-21, 2012-Wilderness Lodge *5/7-10, 2013-Pop Century *7/24-30, 2013-Art of Animation *1/6-10, 2014 -Art of Animation *3/25-29, 2014-All Star Movies *3/29-30, 2014-Boardwalk Villas *5/18-23, 2014-Paradise Pier *8/13-18, 2014-Caribbean Beach *8/18-19, 2014-Grand Floridian Trip Report & Dining *12/14-19, 2014-Port Orleans French Quarter-The Never Ending PTR! *3/17-23, 2015-Coronado Springs *10/9-13, 2015-Boardwalk Inn

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Old 07-22-2010, 08:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellebookworm9 View Post
Hi! There were a lot of DISers there around the same time-but I didn't run into any. I really enjoyed the sandwich, mom thought it was just okay, but we had a lot of other really good food on this trip. The birthday cake was adorable and we brought it home with us. I see that you stayed at Boardwalk Villas. What did you think of it? Did you stay in a studio? We're hoping to go to Food & Wine in 2011, and debating between BWV, BCV, Kidani, and OKW. OKW and BW would be cheapest, but any opinions would be helpful!
I loved BWV! I didn't stay in a studio (stayed in a 1-Bedroom), so I can't comment on that (the 1BR was really nice though, I'd think the studio is hopefully the same?), but the resort itself is great. I really liked the theme of the resort and how nice and pretty it was--it definitely had that "Disney" feel (more so than Bay Lake Tower, which we also stayed at). I've heard a lot of people complain about the really long hallways there, but we didn't really find them to be that much of an issue (plus there are a lot of staircases you can take to avoid them). And of course the location was AMAZING...it was so nice and convenient to be able to either walk or take the boat to both Epcot and the Studios, plus have all the other Epcot resorts around (but it still felt really nice and peaceful, and not really busy or anything, given the location). Personally, I chose BWV over BCV because my family isn't really that into using the pool and that seems to be the main draw of BCV, so if the pool really matters to you I can see how it might make more sense to stay at BCV (not that the BW pool is bad, other than the creepy clown slide), but I don't regret staying at BW at all!

Hopefully that helped, let me know if you want to know anything else about it .
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Spring 1996: Dixie Landings
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March 2009: All-Star Sports
May 2010: Boardwalk Villas/Bay Lake Tower

Next trip: January 2011 at VWL/BWV

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Old 07-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alisonwonderland64 View Post
I loved BWV! I didn't stay in a studio (stayed in a 1-Bedroom), so I can't comment on that (the 1BR was really nice though, I'd think the studio is hopefully the same?), but the resort itself is great. I really liked the theme of the resort and how nice and pretty it was--it definitely had that "Disney" feel (more so than Bay Lake Tower, which we also stayed at). I've heard a lot of people complain about the really long hallways there, but we didn't really find them to be that much of an issue (plus there are a lot of staircases you can take to avoid them). And of course the location was AMAZING...it was so nice and convenient to be able to either walk or take the boat to both Epcot and the Studios, plus have all the other Epcot resorts around (but it still felt really nice and peaceful, and not really busy or anything, given the location). Personally, I chose BWV over BCV because my family isn't really that into using the pool and that seems to be the main draw of BCV, so if the pool really matters to you I can see how it might make more sense to stay at BCV (not that the BW pool is bad, other than the creepy clown slide), but I don't regret staying at BW at all!

Hopefully that helped, let me know if you want to know anything else about it .
We are really torn. We are really considering Beach Club right now because of the pool and the dining, which we prefer over Boardwalk. We would spend one morning/early afternoon just relaxing at the resort, so we could walk over to Boardwalk and walk around/rent a surrey bike if we wanted to. Basically, it might just come down to what I'm able to get. If we can't get either of those, we'll go back to Kidani or try OKW.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:02 PM   #15
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I'm in. Loving the style of your report.
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