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Old 09-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
chunkymonkey
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Chunkymonkey and Chubbyhubby Stuff Themselves Silly! THE END..on to the next TR!

Hi Everyone! If you've read my PTR here, you'll probably know that I am an avid photographer and love to take pictures. So be prepared for a pretty picture-heavy TR!

Anyways, here is the cast of characters for this TR:



Me: Chunkymonkey, aka Su-Lynn, mid-thirties, I work in IT as a business analyst, and also as a freelance photographer. View my work here. I love to eat, shop, and travel, especially to anyplace Disney! This is my eleventeenth trip to WDW (eleventeenth because I can't exactly remember the number. I went many times as a kid but my parents can't remember how many times they took us, lol) This is my third trip with DH. We've also been to Disneyland many times, and I have also been to Tokyo Disneyland when I lived in Japan as a kid. I also have a penchant for anything round.

DH: Chubbyhubby, aka Steve, mid-thirties, a consultant, very smart, and very competitive. Loves sports, eating, traveling with me, and playing video games. He supports my photography habit by making silly faces when I take pictures of him, LOL.

We live in New York City, and have been married for almost 2 years now, and this is our mini-pre-anniversary trip to WDW. We planned this trip in May as soon as we heard about Free Dining! Since we have never done a Magic Your Way package, this was the perfect opportunity to do so! Our favorite parks are Epcot and DHS, and we love love love Toy Story Mania!

I say mini-pre-anniversary trip because we have a wonderful vacation coming up, we're going to Hawaii for 2 whole weeks in November for our actual anniversary celebration. We've planned this trip for a year and are super excited to go. It's too bad Disney's new Hawaiian resort, Aulani, is not yet opened or else we'd be there in a flash!

Here's the details of our trip:

Dates: September 2nd/3rd - Sept 8th (we got an extra day due to hurricane Earl, we originally booked to fly out the night of the 3rd, but ended up flying out earlier)
Resort: Port Orleans French Quarter
Airline: JetBlue
Dining Plan: Regular Dining Plan, for FREEEEEEE
Tickets: 6-day park hoppers! (and I am soooo glad I stuck with the 6 days instead of 5...you'll see why)

So here begins the trip report...I hope you're in for this magical journey with us!!

Last edited by chunkymonkey; 03-24-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Day 0 (day we traveled)
Part 1: The most stressful day ever due to Earl (the hurricane, not Earl of Sandwich)
Part 2: Travelling to the World

Day 1
Part 1: First full day, headed to MK
Part 2: Beeline to Tomorrowland
Part 3: Speedway and Disney Couture
Part 4: We love us some Adventure...
Part 5: A post with no color...literally
Part 6: Ahhh can we relax now?

Day 2
Part 1: EMH at DHS, OMG FP for TSM, ADR at SciFi
Part 2: It's Lunch Time!
Part 3: We FINALLY get to ride TSM
Part 4: Dinner at 'Ohana!

Day 3
Part 1: The I'm not really there FP and my new obsession
Part 2: When it rains it pours but I get a free souvenir!
Part 3: Beer and Illuminations

Day 4
Part 1: The mad TSM rush
Part 2: We head to AK and get soaked!
Part 3: Boma and AKL

Day 5
Part 1: How we got to ride TSM 4x before noon
Part 2: The World & Le Cellier
Side-post: Shopping for WDW goodies!
Part 3: Time flies at Innoventions...
Part 4: We found a new spot for watching Illuminations!

Day 6
Part 1: The bag
Part 2: Fantasyland
Part 3: The last hours...and THE END!

The start of my next WDW adventure...read the beginnings of my next PTR here. It roughly starts around page 27 of this TR and is interspersed throughout the remaining pages.

Mini TR: Hawaii!
Aloha Big Island Part I - Sights and Activities
Aloha Big Island Part II - Helicopter Ride above the Volcano
Aloha Big Island Part III: The Food!!

Last edited by chunkymonkey; 03-24-2011 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:56 PM   #3
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I am first for the first time.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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Yay! I'm #2!
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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YES!!! You already know I'd be here. Looking forward to all the pictures!
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:15 PM   #6
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I'm here! Excited to see all your beautiful pictures
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:52 PM   #7
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Day 0: Part 1, How we got to spend an extra day at Disney.

My gosh, you guys are fast!!!!

LOL ok here is Day 0 PART 1:

Day 0 PART 1: The most stressful day, ever!

When we booked this trip back in May, we had already booked our Hawaiian vacation for 2 weeks, and so we had limited vacation days to use, therefore going over the Labor day weekend made sense to use, and we only needed to take 2 days off from work. I reserved using ************, which is an online Disney travel-agency located in Utah. Although they are located in Utah and we are in NYC, I barely noticed any lag in the service, it's like they were up at 5am every day, as all my emails, even early morning ones, seemed to get answered really quickly! 2-thumbs up for ************. Ask for Keith if you can. He's wonderful.

You can find more details on how we picked our resort, over at my PTR. We flip-flopped between POFQ and Contemporary. We ended up picking POFQ, and we are glad we did as it’s a lovely resort, but we did miss the convenience of the monorail.

Our trip days were from the evening of Sept 3rd; we were going to leave after work, and fly via Jetblue from JFK direct to Orlando. Our return flight was on Sept 8th, at 7pm. That gave us 5 days at WDW.

Although we were only there for 5 nights and 5 days, our travel agent, Keith, gave us 6-day park hoppers instead of 5 as part of our package. I requested to change them to 5 but he informed me it was a whopping difference of only 6 bucks for the both of us. “Really??” I said. “Keep the 6-day then,” I replied. Who knows. If we get there magically early, then we may be able to take advantage of EMH at Epcot…just maybe…

So the week before we are scheduled to leave, a small little tropical depression forms in the Atlantic, called Earl. “Bah” I thought, it won’t affect us….

Fast forward to 4 days before our trip, and Earl is now a Category 4 hurricane and seems to be headed straight for NC, and then straight up the Eastern seaboard direct for New England. Guess what is on the way? New York City!

This is the 3rd time a hurricane has affected our travel plans. Once many years ago, Ivan hit Grenada a week before we were scheduled to travel there, wiping out any such plans to visit that island (We ended up in Hawaii that year so no big deal ) and then when visiting Jamaica, another hurricane went through the island while we were on it. Thankfully it was not major and everything was ok, but it was a pretty scary experience, lots of random things flying around, and the normally clear waters were cloudy for 2 days after.

So I did what I know best to do during such situations…I monitored the weather for 3 days straight. I called Jetblue every 4 hours to make sure our plans weren’t affected. Up until the day of our trip, JetBlue had no plans to cancel or reschedule any flights out of NYC. I could change it, but I would be paying upwards of 200 dollars for the change. DH and I decided to wait it out, afterall, it may not be a big deal. Argh, the feeling of not knowing if your flight would take off was killing me! Also Earl’s path seemed to be taking it slightly more east or slightly more west every hour, it was so hard to pinpoint where it was going to end up! I have become pretty good at meteorology at this point, LOL.

I had already cleared an extra day off of work “just in case”. It just so happened it was an extremely busy week at work so I was there late all week trying to get things done, and then when I got home, I would throw things together in a suitcase, only to take them out again. I was sooooo tired from the stress of the uncertainty of the flight, that me and DH were willing to pay the extra money to leave Friday morning instead of Friday night, which was when Earl was going to make it’s way into the NYC area.

We fate just so happened to be on our side on the morning of September 2nd. Either that, or the pixie dust that everyone sent our way worked. Because on the JetBlue website that very morning, the announcement was made that any flight out of the NYC area would be able to be changed, FREE OF CHARGE, for the next 2 days. I immediately grabbed the phone and dialed jet blue’s number. I had to wait for about 20 minutes before being connected to an agent, but I was able to change our flights to leave THAT VERY NIGHT!!! I figured, there wasn’t a big difference in leaving Thursday night or Friday morning, and it’s better to be out of the hurricane’s way before any delays were felt at all. So we were booked on the 9:20pm flights out of JFK. The only problem was that…we did not have a place to stay. Not a biggie, I immediately called Keith at Mousetrips and told him our situation. I asked if there was any way to add a night at POFQ for that same day. I didn’t really care where we stayed at that point, and I was even willing to stay at a hotel near or in the airport and go to POFQ the next morning. Keith took about 15 minutes to call me back, and say I was able to book POFQ for that night, for about 100 bucks. “SOLD!” I said! Granted, we wouldn’t be getting free dining for that day, but who cared!

WE WERE GOING TO DISNEY A DAY EARLY!!!!
I HAD 6-DAY PARK HOPPERS!!!
HOORAY!!!


So that is the story about how we got the spend an extra day and night at Disney. Sorry for the really long-winded story, but you’d have to understand how stressed out I was. I don't normally get stressed. I'm very laid back. I was honestly less stressed on my wedding day. I think I also managed to give myself heartburn, which I don’t normally get, LOL.

Next up…the mad rush to pack, and get to the airport, in the midst of busy holiday weekend travel…

And since posts are always better with pictures, here are a few pics coming up:





And here are the teasers I posed at the end of my PTR. I hope this has you coming back for more!



















Last edited by chunkymonkey; 09-12-2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:10 AM   #8
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I'm in !!!

I'm glad you had a great trip & I can't wait to read all about it!
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:48 AM   #9
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Love Disney Food! Love Photos! Love Screennames based on Ben & Jerry's flavors. I'm in!

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Old 09-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #10
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Wow, you guys are fast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by topdog View Post
I am first for the first time.
Quite an amazing achievement. Glad you are on board!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba22 View Post
Yay! I'm #2!
#2 is an awesome number, glad to have you here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by YukiPhnx View Post
YES!!! You already know I'd be here. Looking forward to all the pictures!
Yay! I am looking forward to reading your TR too, and have to catch up with all that you have written already! I just realized I have more than 1500+ pictures to go through and post. Yikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTravelingCarters View Post
I'm here! Excited to see all your beautiful pictures
Thanks! I am still amazed that you won that amazing trip. Well, not amazed since it was well deserved due to your very touching story about your mom. I'd totally give you the prize too. It made be tear up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by onescgirl View Post
I'm in !!!

I'm glad you had a great trip & I can't wait to read all about it!
Thank you! Great to see you here, and can't wait to hear about your trip too! Only another week!

Quote:
Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
Love Disney Food! Love Photos! Love Screennames based on Ben & Jerry's flavors. I'm in!

Dee
Hi Dee! Welcome! Great to have you on board!
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:59 AM   #11
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Your photos are amazing! I wish I had half your talent with pictures. I'm glad you made it down safely.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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Jumping on board! How cool is it that you were able to leave that very night AND get a room at Port Orleans for just $100. Looking forward to more.
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http://www.disboards.com/showthread....6#post51642226


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Old 09-10-2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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Day 0 Part 2: Traveling to the World...

Day 0 Part 2: Traveling to the World

Right after I had confirmed our flights for that very night, and secured an extra night at POFQ, my first thought was to make an ADR. After all, we were at Disney an extra night and I wanted to try and eat at as many places as possible. There was limited availability at such short notice, but I managed to secure ourselves 8pm ressies at Teppan Edo for the next day. Yay! We have never eaten there, but have always wanted to try it. It was not in the plan for this trip as I had already made our ADRs months before, so this was just icing on the cake for us.

The minute the clock hits 5pm, I sent out my final work emails of the day, set my out-of-office notification in Outlook ,and rush out of the office. My commute is about 45 minutes home. By the time I got home, it was 5:45pm. Needless to say I packed in record-breaking time, (basically me throwing random stuff in both our suitcases). Another thing was that our air-conditioning broke in our living room! On one of the hottest days of the year! ARGH! Needless to say, I was dripping with sweat after I was done packing. While I was packing (and sweating), DH managed to grab a quick bite to eat at McDonalds. I was too preoccupied to eat anything and barely noticed he was gone! I had mumbled something about not wanting anything to eat when he asked. I was too busy! I was trying my best not to forget anything. Hmm, dslr camera, check, battery, check, camera case, check. I checked my packing list and it seemed like I had everything I needed…or so I thought. After about 45 minutes of packing, and a quick shower for me, we were off to the airport!

DH and I each had a small roll-y bag and I had a large tote as a carry-on and DH had a backpack. It’s not too much stuff to travel with so we were able to maneuver though the NYC subway at a fairly decent pace without too much bumbling around. We arrived at Penn station, and bought tickets for the next LIRR to Jamaica station, leaving at 7:10pm. We boarded the train and were amazed at how much space there was. Usually the LIRR trains are packed during rush hour. So we were able to find a seat for ourselves and our luggage, lol. Our trip was about 20 minutes long to Jamaica. From there we boarded the Airtrain, which is super easy and fast, and headed straight for Terminal 5, Jetblue’s swanky, remodeled and spacious terminal. Compared to the cramped, dirty terminal last year, this one had awesome food selections, a jamba juice, and lots of shops, including my favorite travel store, Muji. Our trip to the airport took about 50 minutes door to door, which was fantastic compared to taking a taxi and risking traffic, which could make the trip easily 1.5 hours. My stress was starting to ease a little bit, and it wasn’t until we were through security and by our gate that I actually began to really calm down.

Here’s a blackberry pic of the Muji store in JFK terminal 5.




Muji sells all sorts of very modern, simple travel items, housewares, stationary and even clothes. I buy all sorts of travel-sized bottles, packing cubes and random stuff here. This time I picked up a small plastic card holder for our park hopper cards, and more plastic toiletry bottles.

We waited for about 30 minutes before boarding. I bought a large bottle of water, some cereal and a lunchable for me. I surprised myself by not wanting to eat too much that night. I just didn’t feel hungry, which is usually not the case for me. I am usually eating. All. The. Time.

I had purchased extra legroom seats, so we were in row 3 of the plane. Ahh, it was soooo nice to stretch our legs out. I popped on my earphones and watched TV for most of the flight. DH fell asleep as he usually does. I tell you, that guy can sleep anywhere! We were delayed due to runway traffic as usual at JFK so we were about 20 minutes behind schedule. No biggie since to me, we were a day completely ahead of schedule, LOL. So since I finally had some time, I pulled out my DSLR so that I could finally be able to capture some shots of our trip. This was when I realized that I did indeed forget something. My memory card!!! I had left it in my computer, after downloading some pics. So here I was with a completely functioning, fully charged DSLR, and no place to store the pictures, lol. Luckily, my point and shoot uses the same memory cards as my DSLR, and I had extras packed away in the case. However, the p and s camera was tucked away in one of the suitcases, and already in the overhead compartments. Argh! I was just too tired to try and fish it out and risk spewing the contents of my badly packed suitcase all over the plane. So no pics of the plane ride. Oh well.

Once we landed, it was close to 1am. We had all our luggage, so we didn’t have to go to baggage claim. I had assumed that ME was where all the other ground transportation was, so we went to the lower level, only to wander around aimlessly for about 10 minutes. We finally asked someone where ME was, and she said it was located in another terminal. So we went back upstairs, and crossed over to the other terminal. We were soooo tired at this point! I finally fished out my point and shoot and the memory card for my DSLR, so I managed to get some shots. I was honestly too tired to properly focus so some shots are a bit blurry, LOL. These were mostly taken with my Panasonic Lumix TS1 point and shoot.

Here’s us after we just landed. Look how red DH’s eyes are!




We finally found ME, and it was empty. As in no one was there. Oh no!




Luckily a guy working there with a clipboard came over and asked where we were staying. We told him POFQ. He checked his clipboard and told us to wait by the chairs and someone will come pick us up shortly. We waited there with another family, and a few minutes later a couple of guys show up too. But that was it. Guess no one really arrives past midnight much!

While waiting, I finally found the info in the Disney packet about how to find ME. Duh, should have looked at that first! Check out DH sleeping in the background, LOL.




I also got myself a new dslr camera strap. This was from a seller at Etsy. I love the colors of this strap. It’s neutral, goes with everything, and it was very comfortable too. I had originally gotten a pink, black and white one which I posted in my PTR, but I thought it was a bit loud, and the pink may have clashed with some of my clothes. So I got this one as well.




Finally after what seemed like half an hour, a Mears van shows up. What!?! No spiffy Mickey-decorated ME bus to take us to our resort??! Sigh, I was too tired to care at that point. All we wanted to do was get to bed!! We all piled into the van and headed on our way to WDW!!! Finally, after the 35 minute ride, we were the first to get dropped off at POFQ. DH spent the entire time in the waiting area and in the van sleeping, so he was in a complete daze when we got off. Here are some random shots I got with my p and s camera. Sorry, no professional-quality shots here, LOL.

There was no one at check-in either, so we had to ring the bell.




A CM came out and greeted us. It was a bit confusing to figure out our reservation since we added an extra night so we had 2 reservation numbers. She told us to come back again the next day to check-out of our current reservation and check-in to our existing reservation. We were hoping we didn’t have to switch rooms, but the CM said that she didn’t know if that was possible. Oh well. We were in Building 4 on the ground floor. Although I don’t normally like being on the ground floor, I didn’t really care at that point. At least we got to stay in the building of my choice, which was close to the food court and the bus stops. It was humid and hot even at this hour. We were definitely in for a scorching week ahead.

Here is DH carrying our stuff to our room. It was dark throughout the grounds, but small lamps provided some light. It was also very very quiet and very peaceful. Granted it was close to 3am at this point.




On the way we passed by a room that someone had decorated with lights! How fun!




We got too our room, which wasn’t too far away, and were greeted with COLD air conditioning (yay!) and the wonderful sight of beds!! These pics taken with a Canon Rebel dslr:




I was so happy to be here right now I just had to capture this moment!




Our Mickey shaped towels on the bed




The tub/toilet area




I did very minimal unpacking since we weren’t sure whether or not we’d be in the same room come the next night. But I did realize I did a poor packing job, in that I brought like 5 black tank tops that all look alike, lol. Anyways we fell into bed and were out like a light. We were so exhausted from the day, and we were looking forward to waking up and being in Disney! I did not set the alarm as I thought we should definitely try and sleep in a bit…*yawn*

Stay tuned for our first full day in Disney!

Last edited by chunkymonkey; 09-12-2010 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:04 PM   #14
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I'm in! I was in WDW over Labor Day as well and it will be fun reading all about your trip!
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Old 09-10-2010, 05:24 PM   #15
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Enjoying your TR. Did you get my PM?
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