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Old 01-22-2011, 09:45 AM   #1
Tinkerbell1989
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Playing 'I Spy' in Disney... December 2010 TR

I'm back, I've got the weekend to myself, and I've finally worked out how to post pictures all by myself... time to start my TR!

My name is Steffi, I'm 21 years old and am a child at heart. I have just graduated from UWE in Bristol with a degree in Early Childhood Studies, and I now work fulltime in a nursery in the baby room. I was most looking forward to Discovery Cove!

In this picture is my brother, Ryan who is 18, and my sister Melissa who is 15. Ryan is at college studying photography, and Melissa is at school doing her GCSEs. They were looking forward to riding all the big rides!


This is my Mummy and Daddy, Anj and Steve - they love Disney and Florida, and would live there if they could!


This is my Grandma and Grandad, Alan and Diane - this will be their 10th trip to Florida. They absolutely love it, and Grandad is seriously looking to buy a place out there!!


And last but not least, my beautiful boyfriend, Tom. He's 22, and wasn't a big Disney fan like me and my family, as he's only been once nearly 10 years ago. It took some convincing, but he's already planning to go back

We left home on the 16th December, flew on the 17th and flew back on the 31st, landing on 1st Januray 2011.

Well, let's get this TR started

Steffi xx
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:00 AM   #2
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Day One

I know this is only a short day with no photos, but I always find my holiday starts the minute we leave the house!

Tom and I had agreed to meet my family at Chieveley services on the 16th December, so we had chance to say goodbye to Tom's parents, where we had been staying over Tom's birthday 2 days prior.
We had a quick snack, before getting in the car and heading off to Gatwick for Twilight check-in. This was, as you guessed, uneventful, but all went smoothly, so we went to our B&B for the night just down the road.

We were all shown our rooms at The Lawns (which was recently on 'Four in a Bed' on Channel 4). Tom and I were sharing; Mum, Dad, Ryan and Melissa shared; and Grandma and Grandad shared. The rooms were nice, but I was feeling a bit tired, so it was time for bed. Unfortunately, I barely slept as I was so excited! But neither did Tom, so that made it okay!

We were also really worried about the snow, as it had begun to chuck it down as we left Chieveley, and we had planned this holiday to within an inch of our lives!
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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Day Two

As I was already awake, getting out of bed at 7am didn't hurt as much as I'd expected. The first thing I did was throw open the curtains to check how much snow had fallen overnight... luckily, it was just a little bit, so I knew we could fly!

Tom and I took showers and packed up our things ready to go down with the rest of my family for breakfast. I had yummy fried egg on toast, and Tom had a full English! I scoffed breakfast down, so we could get our taxi to the airport. I just wanted to get a move on!

Eventually, we all got into the cars and were driven by The Lawns owners to Gatwick. We said goodbye, and breezed through security with ease... I was a bit scared though when security took my flight details and my laptop make and model! Anyway, we'd made it to duty-free (yay! ), and Tom bought some new sunglasses as I'd broken his recently by standing on them! Well, if you leave them on the floor...

Before we knew it, we were being called to the departure lounge. We found it, and it was already very busy! Tom and I sat on the floor and started to work on an arrow-word puzzle. All of a sudden, we were called to take our seats! Wow!

Here we are on board, ready to go!
Melissa, Tom and I

Grandma and Grandad

Ryan, Dad and Mum

The flight was on time, which is a first for us, as Mum is the jinx for delaying flights! So there was nothing to do other than watch the films... this was the bit Tom had been looking forward to the most! I watched 'Despicable Me', started watching 'Sorcerer's Apprentice', but fell asleep. Then I watched 'Step Up 3'. Before we knew it, we were landing!! Eek!

We head through Immigration with no issues, and really quickly - it was annoying though, as I could see my purple spotty bag on the baggage claim! But within the hour, we were getting in our hire car. The Toyota Sienna was a little snug for 8 adults with 7 suitcases and 8 hand luggage bags, but Dad and Tom are Tetris experts and so it all fit!

We head off to our villa in Lake Berkley, which was gorgeous, and Tom, Melissa, Ryan and I fought for the Mickey Mouse themed room - Tom and I won, yay!

After our quick trip to Walmart, which was 5 minutes down the road, we had a cup of tea, and head to bed at about 11pm. Bring on tomorrow
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #4
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Day Three

I woke up really early this morning, due to the time difference, but managed to get another hour of rest. Soon, I was wide awake, and heard other people stirring, so I got up, woke Tom up and we had breakfast - Lucky Charms! It's a holiday thing with us!

Ryan decided he wanted to go swimming, so Melissa, Tom and I joined him in the pool. It wasn't very warm as it was so cold outside. It started raining so we all got out... then the rain came down. It put a bit of a dampener on the day, as we'd planned to go to Magic Kingdom. However, it was really raining heavy now, so we rearranged a few things, and decided to go to Florida Mall.

We had never been to the mall before, and actually I was glad we had decided to go. We all split up, so we could shop as we wanted without feeling like we were dragging everyone else around behind us! Tom and I headed to Macy's... just so I could say I'd been there!

We also found the M&Ms shop!

I was in heaven! I love M&Ms more than anybody should love chocolate, and so I had to buy a bag of sweeties! I managed to save some for when I got home to Bristol, which I'm still munching on now! Yummy!

We also went to Hollister and bought some new jogging bottoms, which Tom and I had already said we would like, and I bought myself a tiny Build-A-Bear! I used to work in the shop in Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, so I needed a little fix!

We met everyone at the food court, Tom and I had a Starbucks in hand, and we grabbed some lunch from Charley's Grilled Subs. These were really nice, and the fries were amazing!
We decided to head back to the villa after this, and so we chilled in the games room, playing pool (I was losing really badly!) and air hockey!
Here's Ryan and Tom playing in a championship... I think Tom lost!


After we had some nibbles for tea, we made our way back out to Old Town to see the car cruise. Now, my Dad has known about this since our first trip in 2000, but we never had enough time to drop by and see this. This trip, we told him he could go... and he absolutely loved it! Tom and Dad are big car nuts, so it was right up their street! I don't love cars quite as much, but I still really enjoyed it.



(Proof that Santa doesn't use reindeer!)

We hung around Old Town after the cruise, and looked in the shops, and ended up bumping into one of Melissa's school friends! We had a quick chat, before heading back to the car and getting into our pyjamas in the villa.
Tom and I had a quiet drink, playing a game of pool, before watching some Disney Channel. We eventually gave in and went to bed, very excited for our next day at Universal!

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Day Four

We were up early again this morning, and jumped in the pool It was a little warmer this morning, which was reassuring! After we fought for the showers, we got in the car and headed for Universal Studios!

I was very excited, but it looked very busy on the CityWalk... turns out Islands of Adventures had the majority of those people, as Universal was pretty quiet! Our first ride was 'Rip Rideit Rocket' - I had already deicded in the queue that I wanted to choose the Black Eyed Peas song 'Pump It'... and it turned out Tom chose it too! We ended up in the front, with Ryan and Melissa behind us, which was terrifying, and I screamed. A lot!

I better warn you now that I take after my Mummy, and have a Christmas tree addiction! Oops! Every park we visited, we would make sure we had a picture of the tree, both in the day, and at night...

We headed for 'The Mummy', which was another new ride for me. I thought it was going to be like a simulator, and I tried to convince my parents to ride it with us - but it really wasn't! I was really scared, and I'm glad Mum and Dad had decided not to go on it, they might not have trusted me ever again!

Next was Jaws, and I knew everyone would go on this. We were sat at the front again, and our driver was very funny! As we got off at the end, Dad was covered in water, and the driver said "Keep the water as a souvenir Sir, it's on me". Dad replied, "No, it's on me!" We were all in fits of giggles, driver included - my daddy has never come up with a witty remark line quicker!

After munching on hot dogs for lunch, we went to ride 'The Simpsons'. This was amazing! Everyone loved the fact it was so realistic, even my Grandma, who doesn't really do rides!

Mum, Dad, Ryan, Melissa, Tom and I decided to ride 'Men In Black' as the queue wasn't very big. Again, we'd never done this before, and it was pretty fun - Melissa was freaking out because I pressed the red button, and the pre-ride video said not to! We don't think anything happened though Although, we did keep spinning... maybe that was it?

Mum requested to ride 'ET', which sounded like a good choice, so we did. I love the fact the ride vehicle is a bicycle, and that ET says goodybye to each person on board! We popped into 'Shrek 4D', before getting some funnel cake and fried Oreos... I loved the Oreos! So unhealthy, but so goooood! Mum headed into the sweet shop (with the giant lollipop outside) and bought Ryan, Melissa, Tom and I a giant chocolate apple, which we ate later that night... they were amazing!
This was Melissa's... it's a shame I didn't have a picture of the 4 of us eating them at the same time!


ETA: My sister has done me proud...

Melissa and her M&M covered apple.

Me and my dark chocolate white drizzled apple.

Tom and his Rocky Road apple.

Ryan and his Rocky Road apple.
(Thanks Melissa!)

We got back to the car, and went to Celebration to watch the snow. We had done this before, but Tom has never been to Celebration for this, so I was really excited about sharing this with him!

This is a picture of us dancing in the snow... thanks to my sneaky sister!

We headed home not long after this, and had a couple of games in the games room before going to bed.
Magic Kingdom tomorrow!
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Last edited by Tinkerbell1989; 01-23-2011 at 01:38 PM. Reason: My sister is amazing, and uploaded some more pictures!
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Old 01-22-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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Day Five

We all woke up early again, and had another dip in the pool. After we had Lucky Charms for breakfast again, we got in the car and drove to Magic Kingdom.

We hadn't realised how cold it was outside, as there were blue skies and sunshine... it was just bitterly cold! We decided to catch the ferry over, which seemed to take forever! But I was very excited to see 'Cinderella's Castle' from the water!

It was very busy in the park today, but we headed to 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. I really enjoyed the additions of Davy Jones and Jack Sparrow! Next, we went got some Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain,and got in the queue for Splash Mountain. Tom and I wimped out and wore our ponchos... but they didn't actually keep us that dry!



I love that this is one of the only rides that my whole family will go on!

After this, we stumbled into Pecos Bills for lunch - I had a gorgeous pulled pork sandwich! We then went to Fantasyland, and queued for 'Philharmagic 3D'. I absolutely love this show, and it was something else I was excited to share with Tom! He was particularly excited to see if he could find any Hidden Mickey's... that book will crop up from time to time!


We then used our BTM Fastpasses, which was amazing, it seemed to be a longer but faster ride than I remember! We then got Fastpasses for 'Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin' and took a ride on the 'Blueline Train'. This is a must for our family whenever we are in WDW! The queues were quite long by this point, so Tom, Melissa, Mum, Dad and I decided to go on 'Stitch's Great Escape' which had a short queue. Unfortunately, I can see why now! But at least we can say we did it!

The family went to grab a hot drink as the temperatures were plummeting, and Tom and I decided to see 'Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor'. This reminded me of 'Stitch Live' in DLRP, and it was so funny, and the people picked in the audience were great sports too for playing along! We found everyone else and headed back to ride Buzz Lightyear. This was still amazing fun, partly because I have never met anybody as competitive as Tom. Apart from me


As it was so cold, and the queues were getting longer and longer, we decided to leave the parade and fireworks for tonight, and headed back to the villa for an early night.

Next, Discovery Cove for Tom and I
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:10 AM   #7
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Great report, can't wait to read more.
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:38 AM   #8
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Day Six

Today Tom and I were going to Discovery Cove as our Christmas presents to each other. I was super excited about this, and so we were up very early and Dad and Grandad dropped us off for the day. Tom and I checked in, and received our swim time of 9am at the seahorse cabana. As we had half an hour to kill, we grabbed a yummy breakfast of pastries, fruit and muffins

Next, we put our things in a locker and opted for a short wetsuit, as the temperature was still a bit too cold for a vest!
Before we knew it, we were in the water meeting our dolphins! We were lucky enough to have two dolphins, Calypso, who was in-training and who Tom and I had our swim with, and Capricorn, who was in the Jaws film!

Thank you to my sister for scanning this picture in for me

The whole swim experience was incredible - and I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present. As much as I love my family, it was really special to share this with Tom!
The temperature was rising, and so Tom and I changed into swim vests, and found a nice part of the beach to chill out on, and watch the oter dolphin swims going on.


Tom wanted to find the lazy river, which started in the resort pool - so we floated around that, although it was very deep! As we swam through the aviary, Tom wanted to do that, so we finished the river and fed some birds in the aviary. They really liked Tom!


We had lunch in between all the relaxing and chilling out; I had grilled salmon, and Tom had roast turkey - both of which were really tasty. After snorkelling in the Tropical Reef, which I had to practise in the pool in the villa, we ended up having a little nap on the sun loungers... Oops!
Soon it was time to go, and I was so refreshed and relaxed!

Grandma was treating everyone to dinner at Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom, which was lovely; I had chicken parmesan, but I was still really full from lunch!


Next, we drove to Magic Kingdom and I wanted to do 'Space Mountain', so Ryan, Melissa, Tom and I queued up for it. I loved the new games system in the queue; I love the ride, but it just wasn't long enough!

We found everyone else, and stood on the bridge by Cinderella's Castle to watch 'Holiday Wishes'. These were amazing, and I was really glad to watch them with Tom. I just wish we hdan't chosen to watch on the bridge, as the trees blocked some of the fireworks! Oops! I never heard the end of it!


Our final plan for that day was to watch the 11pm 'Main Street Electrical Parade' in Liberty Square. As we had a little wait, Tom and I bought some popcorn (Tom's absolute favourite! ) and we all sat on the wall and played 'I Spy'. This kept all 8 of us entertained for ages! Suddenly, the parade started.

Tom and I had followed the return of MSEP on podcasts, so we were both very excited! This was so nice to see as it was so quiet, and yet we could still see the castle all lit up in the background.

We headed out after the parade and went home
Hollywood Studios tomorrow!
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Old 01-23-2011, 05:42 AM   #9
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What a lovely day.
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Old 01-23-2011, 06:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chilly View Post
Great report, can't wait to read more.
Thankyou Claire, it's my first one so I'm doing my best!

xx
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:24 AM   #11
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Day Seven

This morning, we had a lie-in after the late night, but eventually, we made it out of the villa and went to Hollywood Studios. The first thing we did was get 4 Fastpasses for 'Rockin' Rollercoaster' and 4 Fastpasses for 'Tower of Terror'. As these were for later in the day, we head over to 'MuppetVision 3D'.

As we started walking over, we bumped into a lonely Stitch!

After cuddles, we saw the 'MuppetVision' film - I seemed to remember it being better than it was, but it was still enjoyable. And I know Tom was searching frantically for those Hidden Mickey's!

We stopped off in Pizza Planet for lunch, which was yummy, before checking out some more Hidden Mickey's in the 'Streets of America'. We wandered over to the 'Backlot Tour', where I'm not sure if I like the new commentary, but it was still fun to watch

Next - 'Tower of Terror'. Ryan, Melissa, Tom and I went on this and it was incredible! I'd been on it with Tom in DLRP, but never WDW. I screamed, and held Melissa's hand really tightly, as she was a little scared, but when we got off, we were all in fits of giggles!

The boys wanted to see 'Lights, Motors, Action! Stunt Show', which was really clever, and there was so much going on, I didn't really know where to look!


We still had some time before our Fastpass time for 'Rockin' Rollercoaster', so we looked in the 'One Man's Dream' exhibition. I'd never done this before, but now that I'm older, I'm more aware of how Walt Disney got to where we are now. It was so fascinating, and I just wish we'd had time to watch the film.


Ryan, Melissa, Tom and I used the Fastpasses to go on RnR, which was amazing. It looks fast when you watch everyone taking off, but it is so much faster!
We then went to watch the 'Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights'. As always this was gorgeous. Again, Tom had never seen this, so I enjoyed watching the lights with him, singing the Christmas carols, and being in the snow!



After spending a while here, searching for more Hidden Mickey's, we went back to the car before our early morning.

Islands of Adventures next, and Harry Potter!
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:31 AM   #12
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I didn't make enough use of my hidden mickey book
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Old 01-23-2011, 07:55 AM   #13
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You're doing a great job with this report. Really nice that you went with family but got to spend time alone with Tom too.

Looking forward to more
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #14
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Good job of reporting. Sounds like your planning paid off with fun for everyone.
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
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Day Eight

This morning, we left reasonably early so we could go to Islands of Adventure. I wanted to make sure we got into Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and were able to do the rides in there!

So, as soon as we got to the park, we marched to WWoHP. Instead, we had to get a return time of 1.30pm as the standby time was 75 minutes. We thought this would be a better use of our time! So, Tom, Ryan, Melissa and I went on the 'Hulk' - I was the only one that had been on before, and it was still just as amazing. It is so much faster than it looks!


Then we decided to do 'Jurrasic Park River Adventure', although we were a little scared as we'd seen everyone come off soaking wet, and everyone in the queue were wearing ponchos! I was quite scared, and I didn't realise just how high it was! But we came off dry, not a single drop of water hit us!

Anyway, our return time had rolled around, and we walked straight in I love Harry Potter and had watched all the films in preparation, but I was still blown away with the detail!


Our first stop was 'Forbidden Journey', which, as you probably know, queues through Hogwarts - the detailing in the queue was fantastic! I felt like I was in the school, and was going to bump into the famous witches and wizards around every corner!

House points!


Dumbledore's office!

The ride itself is amazing - it's a mixture between simulator and film, but you barely notice the transistion! It was just so clever!

As you can see, I was pretty scared at this bit; Tom had to hold my hand to stop me from squealing at every movement!
Even Mum and Dad went on this ride, as Mum is a huge Harry Potter fan. Every jerky, or backwards, or swinging motion, I'd hear Melissa say "Mum won't like that!" But she loved it too, which made us feel better!

We didn't get into any shops because there were 20 minute queues - and we didn't even necessarily want to buy anything, just look around! I guess we've got a reason to come back, when the Harry Potter hype is less.

So, Mum, Dad, Grandma and Grandad wandered around Hogsmede, taking in the sights and sounds, and listening to the 'Frog Choir' whilst Ryan, Melissa, Tom and I found 'Dragon Challenge' which was a walk on! We went on the blue one first, and then decided to go back along the re-ride queue and went on the red one! I love this ride - but I loved being able to ride them both in a matter of 10 minutes! Votes say that the red one was the best!

We found everyone else queuing up to buy us Butterbeer's! They were so yummy! The froth was really sweet, and the liquid itself was a little like Irn-Bru!


We left WWoHP and went to grab a burger for lunch at Circus McGurkus... we loved the fact the 'High in the Sky Trolley Train' came through, and Tom and I would wave at every train. People were pretty boring though, hardly anybody waved back!
We stayed in Suess Landing, and went on 'Cat in the Hat Ride, which took us through the story with lots of spinning, and Tom, Melissa and I went on the 'Caro-suess-el' because it looked cute and there was no queue. It was cute, but didn't last very long!

Mum and Dad mentioned that the show 'How the Grinch stole Christmas' was on soon, and as I love the Grinch, we queued up for that. It was an amazing show. The Grinch was hilarious, and Max the dog was adorable!


Now feeling very Christmas-y, I bumped into a Who, and had to have a picture...


As we started to make our way out of the park, Tom requested to ride 'Adventures of Spiderman' as it was meant to be as good as 'Forbidden Journey'. He was right! It was incredible; lots of climbing buildings, swinging, and chasing bad guys!

We moved on, and soon a 5 minute wait for 'Dr Doom's Fearfall'. Oh wow, this was amazing! It was a shame we zoomed up facing the opposite side to the park, but we could see for miles, and I could barely catch my breath before we dropped!


Finally, we left the park, feeling pleased with all our achievements and rides today!
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